Some of my favourite photos

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Bits and bobs

In todays sunshine a quick shower produced this beautiful rainbow over the footpath


Roe deer in the woods
First glimpse of colour


Hunting kestrel

This buzzard, we have named 'five' because it lives in our neighbours 5 acres. It has two favourite trees that it sits in.
As we walk passed it everyday with the dogs it now takes no notice of us.
The rooks don't take any notice of 'five' because it stays to the right hand side of the rooks territory, while the other buzzards that hang around the field get chased off by the rooks.




Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Hares and Robins nest

A Robin is building a nest in my dad's garage again. 
Last year I took lots of photos of a Robin's nest in the garage and even got a video of the last chick fledging.
(Monday 1st July - Last Robin fledged)


Four hares were out in the field this afternoon running around in circles and boxing in the sunshine.
I didn't manage to get any photos of them boxing unfortunately.







Monday, 24 February 2014

Chimney Meadows nature reserve

After yesterdays sunshine, today turned out to be overcast with dizzle and wind.
Not the best day to visit Chimney Meadows, a nature reserve in Oxfordshire.

 

 Our planned journey was blocked due to a flooded road, but we found another way through.

Once parked up it was quite a long trek through very flooded fields to the two bird hides. On the way we spotted a kestrel and the hedgerows were full of birds such as long tail tits, wrens, redwings, blue and great tits.







There were also lots of Lords and Ladies coming through.


 The log book in the first hide suggested we might see water voles, hares, fox cubs, stoats and various birds, we actually saw a couple of deers and lots of gulls on the flooded land.


The second hide had a couple of bird feeders and bird boxes to encourage the birds closer.
The birds seemed to have a great system of sharing the feeder.
The black cap would fly  directly in from the back of the hedge and feed from the bottom hole. The blue and great tits would sit on nearby branches and take it in turns, while the robins and chaffinches would hop around underneath.






This would all stop for a few minutes when the squirrel took it's turn. The birds would sit and wait while the squirrel ate and when it left the birds would start feeding again.





It was really funny to see the squirrel hanging upside down using just it's hind paws.

video

Friday, 21 February 2014

Sunshine and showers

Coming home in the car last night we were lucky enough to see a Barn Owl sitting on a fence post along side the road.

The sun set at 17:28 last night and around 17:45 we wandered down to the woods.

Badgers footprint

The Badgers have been quite busy recently digging and I managed to take this photo of a Badgers footprint in the spoil.

We found a place to sit which is about 1.5 metres off the ground.  We could hear Tawny Owls, mostly the females.
The last song bird to stop singing was the blackbird which stopped at 18:15.
Four minutes later three Badgers came trotting past and disappered into the brambles. Over the next twenty minutes we could hear Foxes chirping and screaming, Dogs barking in the distance and the rumble of aeroplanes overhead.

This morning on our dog walk we saw a lot of birds making the most of the sunshine.

First Blackthorn flowers



We sat and watched a Blue tit going in and out of the hole behind the bark



Skylark

In the field near the river there were roughly forty Greylag Geese.





Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Nuthatch



I have been trying to photograph a nuthatch ever since I saw one pecking on my bedroom window sill ages ago.
We were out walking in the woods trying to capture the sounds of the birds for a challenge, in a magazine I have read, that I am trying to complete by the weekend to identify 20 different birds by their call.
I was actually trying to locate a woodpecker that I could hear pecking on a tree when I noticed the nuthatch.




Monday, 17 February 2014

Some exciting news


Some exciting news

Appleton Wildlife diaries has been choosen to be featured by the BBC wildlife magazine.

Over the next year I will be blogging as a local patch reporter, with the help of my family.

My patch includes woodland, farmland, The River Thames, streams and ponds, ditches and hedgerows and of course my garden.

To show how my patch changes over the year I'm going to take 4 photos of the same scene every month.

Farmland looking into the wood

Pond in the wood




A small stream

View over the River Thames and beyond

One of my favourite activities is Badger watching. I have been doing this since I was three years old.

The sun was out most of the day yesterday, meaning it was quite cold in the evening.

We have a tree that we can sit in and watch the badgers so we don't disturb them.
They have lots of different noises, which I'm trying to work out what they all mean.


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Last night the badgers were making two noises in particular.

Churr- a sort of purr and chatter which is a mating call.
Chitter - sounds to me a bit like a chattering dolphin. It has high pitched churps with churring. This can be young badgers playing or adults mating.

We could make out that it was two badgers making most of the noise. They covered a lot of space chasing each other around.

I wish I had recorded the sound.

I have noticed that this time of year they travel further away from the sett, while later in the spring when they have young ones with them, the badgers stay closer to the sett entrances.







Sunday, 16 February 2014

Moon rising

The moon rose at around 6.15pm last night, it was just after the full moon at 99.8%.
After all the rain we've had it was a clear night.


video

This is only the second time I've used my time lapse camera and it is not quite in focus.




Saturday, 15 February 2014

Feast in the orchard

On Friday the weather was extremely windy with lots of heavy rain. I managed to get out and take a few photos.

Found this little hole in the grass

These blackbirds and fieldfares were eating all the fallen apples in the orchard
There was an order of who could eat when. The male blackbirds put up with each other as long as there was enough space between them. The fieldfares and female blackbirds mostly stayed on the edge, while the robins and pigeons were chased off by the male blackbirds.




A ladybird in a little moment of sunshine

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Jay cam


I have been trying to photograph Jays for ages but they are very shy. 
Yesturday afternoon I left my trail camera out in the woods for a few hours and I was lucky enough to capture a couple of films of Jays.


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I don't think the squirrel liked the apple very much




Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Buzzards

After heavy rain over night there was bright sunshine this afternoon.
 5 buzzards were circling in the air, 2 in different trees and 1 buzzard on the ground.






Buzzards spend time looking for worms on the ground sometimes after it has rained.


This fungi was in the leaf litter, I think it is a Scarlet Elf Cup


There was a flock of about 35 birds, made up of goldfinches and redwings together