You might see weeds, but I see wild flowers

Sunday, 22 October 2017

A post at last



Not been a good year so far, which is why I've not published a post on here for a while, and also temporarily closed my other blogs.


My mum sadly passed away in May, after her dementia finally broke her mind and body. Her rapid decline was unbelievable, but in a way a blessing. A terrible illness that takes away any dignity a person has.



At the moment I'm undergoing various tests at the local hospital, the purpose of which is to see if I have cancer. I'm usually an optimist; but not this time. I think most of us understand our own bodies and in this case I know mine isn't right.




Whisky is staying with a friend in north Wales whilst I'm being prodded, poked and scanned. At least I know he's OK.








I haven't taken that many pictures this year or done much birding. It's been hard to get in the 'mood' for photography. Early on in the year I did get into wild flowers; a subject I wanted to learn a bit more about.



Anyway, here's a few pictures.





Slender St-John's-wort









Roger the rooster, from where we stay in north Wales.









Whisky, with two of his brothers; Obi and Thistle








Fly Agaric











Coal Tit





That's it for now.



Enjoy your day.



Monday, 15 May 2017

Into May

  

Myself and Whisky have had some good days out locally, recently, and I've had a couple further a field, but sadly not been able to take him with me, unfortunately.
Some places don't allow dogs on their reserves. Noisy, screaming, unruly kids are OK, but not a well behaved dog, even if it's on a lead. A shame really.



A plant that seems to be growing everywhere at the moment, is Cow Parsley, whether it is roadside, in a field, or in a wood.











Another plant that is coming into its own just now, is the Ox-eye Daisy.





Along some roadside verges there can be seen great swathes of them. Even some councils delay the dreaded mower, so they can survive and provide food for many insects.





In an earlier post I had some Star of Bethlehem that was beginning to flower. Unfortunately, a few hours after I had taken the pictures, the mowers had moved in and cut them down.
I have since found some more that escaped the blades though.





Hopefully these will continue to grow unscathed.





On sunny days we've managed to see quite a few butterflies on the wing.
One of the commonest here, at the moment, has been the Orange Tip.




A female, on a Cuckooflower, at Caldecotte Lake.









Green-veined White, also on a Cuckooflower







I haven't neglected the bird pictures.





A Buzzard being escorted away from the local lake by a Crow.









Great Crested Grebe with a crayfish lunch.










Grey Heron preening at Caldecotte Lake.











Song Thrush, enjoying the sun.






We had a visit to another local lake, Willen, a few days ago. I'm glad we did, because I saw my first Black Swan of the year.






Black Swan







There were also a lot of ducklings and goslings about too.





Greylag Geese






I'll end with a bird that I really didn't expect to see.

A solo visit one day to RSPB Fowlemere to see Turtle Doves, (no pictures, sadly), and as I got out the car, I was greeted by the sound of four cockerels calling.








Enjoy the rest of your day.




Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Going local


I thought we'd have some of the wild flowers that are growing here on our dog walking sessions.


One that is quite common in most places, to start with.



Germander Speedwell








Salsify







A small wood that we sometimes walk through, Kents Hill Wood, has some lovely plants growing in there at the moment. The Ox-eye Daisies haven't begun to flower yet, but won't be very long.



Here's a nice carpet of another white flower ...........




Greater Stitchwort






and usually where that grows, you can find these ...........








Bluebells






Hidden amongst the trees, behind them, I was surprised to find a clump of Ramsons growing happily there.









The Lords and Ladies are all growing well now too.










I think my biggest surprise find though, was growing at the side of the road, opposite the Hilton Hotel.




Star of Bethlehem




Not fully in flower yet. Hopefully get another picture soon, although the mowers were in the area, so it may be lost.



Enjoy your day




Thursday, 20 April 2017

Sunny days in MK



The last few days here in Milton Keynes have been warm and sunny. Perfect for taking pictures on our morning dog walks.




Blossom tree opposite the Open University, Walton.



This little area has been a magnet for some of our spring migrants. Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Whitethroat.




Chiffchaff







Blackcap










Whitethroat





Quite a few Linnets have been visible near the offices of the OU, in Kents Hill.








By the river, near the OU, a large tree has an interesting fungus growing on it.





Chicken-of-the-woods





The Blue Tits always seem to pose to perfection.





Blue Tit






Jays have been quite vocal at the moment, with lots of activity.




Jay




Some days we ventured over to Caldecotte Lake.

At the moment there are a lot of Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins skimming over the water.




Sand Martin






House Martin


Not easy to get good flight shots.




One bird that did give me some 'good' pictures, was this chap.





Yellow Wagtail



And finally, a reminder that this is a busy time of the year for our birds.




A Robin, with some food for his young.





Enjoy your day




Sunday, 2 April 2017

Frampton Marsh



The last day of March, myself and Whisky headed off to the RSPB reserve at Frampton Marsh, in Lincolnshire; one of my favourites.
They've had some Whooper Swans roosting on the reserve for a while and we managed to find them in one of the adjacent fields.







Whooper Swan




Although I can't take Whisky onto the actual reserve, there are plenty of places around it where we can walk. The footpaths nearby, and along the sea bank, that overlooks the salt marsh on one side, and some of the reserve on the other side.
It was here we had some excellent views of the Brent Geese as they flew onto the reserve.



Some big flocks of Dunlin were very mobile too,




Dunlin


with the odd Ringed Plover amongst them.




Ringed Plover




A few Ruff were on the reserve .




Ruff



lots of Shoveler,



 Shoveler





and quite a few Avocets.






Avocet





A fantastic visit where Whisky can have a good walk and sniff the new smells, and I can get to see plenty of birds. I even managed to find a very distant male Gargany; a first of the year for me, and a couple of other people I pointed it out to.




I was surprised to find an early flowering Dove's-foot Cranesbill too.




Dove's-foot Cranesbill





I'll finish with a picture of a Black-headed Gull flying over a Dunlin. Gives a good idea of the size of the Dunlin.







List of birds seen this visit.


Mute Swan 
Whooper Swan
Greylag Goose
Greater Canada Goose 
Brent Goose 
Common Shelduck 
Eurasian Wigeon 
Gadwall 
Common Teal
Mallard 
Garganey
Northern Shoveler 
Common Pochard 
Tufted Duck
Common Pheasant 
Little Grebe 
Great Crested Grebe 
Great Cormorant 
Little Egret 
Common Moorhen
Common Coot 
Eurasian Oystercatcher 
Pied Avocet 
Ringed Plover 
Northern Lapwing
Dunlin 
Ruff 
Black-tailed Godwit 
Eurasian Curlew
Common Redshank 
Black-headed Gull 
Common Wood Pigeon 
Eurasian Collared Dove 
Sky Lark 
Meadow Pipit 
Pied Wagtail
British Dunnock 
British Robin 
Common Blackbird 
Redwing 
Common Chiffchaff 
British Blue Tit
British Jay 
Eurasian Magpie 
Carrion Crow
Common Starling 
British Chaffinch 
European Goldfinch 
Common Linnet
Yellowhammer 
Reed Bunting 

Total  51 species





Enjoy your day