Monday, 26 August 2013

Red Kites of Dumfries & Galloway

I am now in Northern Ireland but on the way up to Cairnryan for the ferry I stopped along the Red Kite Trail of Dumfries & Galloway and a place called Bellymack Hill Farm.
It took a while for the red kites to be close enough for photos but in the end was well worth the 3 hours wait to get these shots.
There were a total of around 40-50 kites glilding around.
Red Kites at Bellymack Hill Farm.

Teatime was shared amongst the gulls at Stranraer with our chip butties.
 We then spent the night at a B&B at Cairnryan ready for our ferry in the morning.It was a nice evening so we walked around the bay shoreline and were treated to a gannet diving just off shore as well as a pair of common terns.
 Gull with crab.
Sunset over Ryan Bay at Cairnryan.
 Gannet flying through the sunset.
.Thanks again to all who take the time to read through my blog.It is very much appreciated.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Who Am I?

I thought I would add a bit of an introduction to who I am, maybe a bit weird after I've already done 9 posts though.:)

Most people who know me know of my illnesses and hence the blog name but I do suffer from psoriatic arthritis for the last 6 years and over the past year have been diagnosed with rhinitus which is causing breathing problems.I also have tinnitus which if you're a birder is obviously not a helpful thing to have.My partner Majella luckily is learning bird songs so can tell me "Oh!, there's a blackcap singing over there" even though I cannot hear it myself.If I'm stood next to a hedge full of house sparrows then I can usually hear

I am a member of the RSPB, BTO, Butterfly Conservation, Wildlife Trusts and also a member of Yorkshire Wildlife Park who are running conservation programs to help save various species such as the Amur Tiger and Painted Dogs and who have the largest leopard enclosure in the world.

I live in North Lincolnshire though would prefer the west coast of Scotland;)I have always been interested in wildlife from watching the early wildlife on one programs and yes I am old enough to remember the great Johnny Morris.Unfortunately my family were not interested in nature so I never got taken out to a zoo as a child never mind any reserves.We didnt even have bird feeders as mum said they trampled on her did however get to go to a place called pets corner on a school trip.It may have only been feeding goats and wallabies but it was a great experience to see the animals.

As soon as was possible I started trips to Scotland and the local reserves around Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, RSPB Blacktoft Sands & Messingham Sand Quarry being our nearest.Its great to see more children walking around the reserves now, although slightly annoying as 10 year olds seem to have better equipment than I can was amazing looking through some scopes at the Rutland Birdfair worth £1500+ and see the difference from my £30 Luyi scope.lolUntil yesterday I had an £80 lens but managed to pick up a Canon 100-400mm so hopefully my photography might improve a little.(Thanks to Mark):)
On a trip to Scotland about 8 years ago.
Still haven't managed to get overseas though to see some of the amazing wildlife around the world, Alaska & British Columbia 2 of the places I have always wanted to see.Maybe get there one day like Johnny Kingdom:)

Okay thats probably bored everybody for long enough so I am just going to add a few website links of some amazing sites by wonderful people who do great things for the wildlife community and conservation.Some I have known for years and some more recent meetings through our mutual love and passion for the natural world.
A brilliant wildlife forum run by Dave & Julie Evans.
Conservationist & fellow moth trapper Tristan Reid who is doing a mega walk for wildlife across Turkey.
Artist, wood carver Terry Everitt with his amzing wood carvings of birds.
Helping disabled people have the chance to see our wonderful nature around our reserves.
A stunning looking place in Arctic Norway(which I hope to visit) where Tormod and his team have designed and created amazing nature projects to help people experience the stunning bird life in the area.
Another online friend with very similar interests.Check out his amazing blogs and photography

Thanks for reading this post and apologies for lack of photos.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Ladies Out In Time For Autumn

As we head towards September and an exciting time of the year for wildlife as new species migrate through the country I got to find 2 of my first ladies of the year(no offence to any females I have met up to now;))

Yesterday in the moth trap was this Old Lady Moth.
A few hours later during a trip into town I noticed this Painted Lady butterfly on Buddleia at Scunthorpe bus station.My first of the year.Apologies for the photo quality but it was taken with the phone as I didn't expect to need my camera walking from the carpark to the Post Office.
Late afternoon/teatime was spent as RSPB Blacktoft Sands in hope of seeing a Montague Harier that has been frequenting the reserve over the last week or so.
Unfortunately no sign of the Monty but other birds of prey were spotted, 3 marsh harriers, a sparrowhawk & a hobby all spooking the waders on the lagoon at the Singleton hide.

Waders at the reserve included 19 little egrets, 1 water rail, 2 garganey, green sandpiper, 4 greenshanks, 20+ snipe, 20+ black-tailed godwits,2 grey herons,a few spotted redshank and 1 dunlin.

Some of the little egrets and black-tailed godwits on the lagoon.
The waders keeping a watchful eye at the sky as a marsh harrier flys past.
The waders are spooked by a passing hobby which was too quick for my camera.
More little egrets.
2 Red Underwing moths found on the door frame on the toilet block.
Thanks again for browsing through my posts.If you have any comments about the blog or what I can do to improve it please post as it will be very much appreciated.:)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Rutland Bird Fair 2013

I have just spent a very enjoyable 3 days at the 2013 Birdfair.The first time I have been.I got to listen to some great lectures from passionate naturalists and meet some of them during the weekend.
Buff tip caterpillar.
 Privet hawkmoth caterpillar on the Butterfly Conservation stand that I'm now a member of:).
 Nick Baker during his talk about tracking wildlife.
 A male kestrel hunting outside our Travelodge hotel.
 Meeting up with Jonathan Scott of The Big Cat Diary.Brilliant guy.
 With Kate Macrae at her stand in the optics marquee at the Bird Fair.
 Photo shoot after chatting with Simon King in his marquee.
 Laughs a minute with Johnny Kingdom.
 A quick photo with David Lindo The Urban Birder after his talk about his US trip.
We had a fantastic 3 days meeting up with known wildlife celebritries and some of my friends from the internet such as Tristan Reid(The Inked Naturalist), Terry Everitt,wood carver... and Friends Of Nature supporters.

I will definately be back again next year and hope to see some new friends there too.:)