Sunday, 4 July 2010

4-7-10, Alrewas GP.

After a decent nights kip I was up and ready at 06.30. I decided to load the push bike up with my photography kit and head off for the local gravel pits to photograph anything that deserved it. I was on site by 07.00 and birds noted were Blackcap, Magpie, Common Tern, Reed Bunting, Collared Dove, Tufted Duck, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Mallard, Coot, Stock Dove, Chiffchaff, Oystercatcher, Canada Geese, Robin, Wren, Swallow, Black-headed Gull, Grey Heron, Common Whitethroat, Lapwing and Goldfinch.

Half way along the track I spent a good half an hour photographing the following.

Cantharis livida on RagwortA kind of day moth.Cinnebar Moth caterpillar on Ragwort (where else!)Havn't got a clue, could be plant escaped from captivity!!!!Meadow Brown I think.

Sorry about the vague identification, I have not had time to look at the photos and ID them before putting them on the blog.

When I was working for BTCV some ten years ago now I decided I was going to learn as many names to plants, beetles, butterflies, anything basically that survives in the wild in the UK. I was armed with my 35mm Minolta Dynax 500 and I photograped and tried to ID as much as I could. I learnt a lot of flowers and some insects but have forgot a lot so it was great fun today getting out and trying again.

4-7-10, National Arboretum.
Next was the Arboretum which is a quick hop over the railway line. A bit of a struggle with a bike loaded with camera gear and for the first time ever I had to wait for a train. Once in the Arboretum I had a look around a large strip of wildflowers, doing a bit of photography.
The National Arboretum wild flower patchCorn Marigold me thinks.
Common Bird's-Foot-Trefoil or Eggs and Bacon.DandelionUnsure as yetPoppyPossible Herb Robert, will check
Common Bird's-foot-Trefoil again, trying to remove it.

I did a bit of birding to by the way. Birds noted were Wren, Swallow, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Mute Swan, Black-headed Gull, Kestrel, Magpie, Reed Bunting, Cormorant, Coot, Swift, Blackbird, Pheasant, Wood Pigeon, Common Tern, Oystercatcher, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit and Great Tit. A bit quiet on the bird front really but I did get a few juvenile Great Tits for that "Aaarrrrr" moment.
Juvenile Great Tit.

4-7-10, Junction Pit.
Half way around the Arboretum and I popped over to the Junction Pit to see what was there. It looks like Black-headed Gulls have enjoyed a good breeding year, especially on the tern rafts at Croxall. There was juveneiles everywhere. Other birds noted were Reed Warbler, Mute Swan, Lapwing, Great Tit, Reed Bunting, Mallard, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Great Crested Grebe, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Cormorant, Greylag Geese and Swallows.
4-7-10, Croxall Wides.

Again, as I was visiting the Junction Pit, another 100 yards under the viaduct and there is cracking views of the new workings at Croxall from over the river. Much better viewing the works from the Arboretum side than creeping up and scaring the birds from the Croxall side. Mind you, I must admit there was not many birds too scare. Birds noted were Mute Swan, Reed Bunting, Sand Martin, Pied Wagtail, Common Tern, Black-headed Gull and Swift. Whilst I was there I got the camera out and photographed the following.
Banded DemoiselleTormentil

4-7-10, Whitemoor Haye.
Last site for the day was a very windy Whitemoor. I didn't really look at the forecast and was suprised with this wind getting so strong. The forecasters got something right at least. Birds noted around here were Mallard, Canada Geese, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greenfinch, Redshank, Lapwing, Carrion Crow, Linnet, Common Sandpiper, Yellowhammer, Sand Martin, Oystercatcher, Swift, Corn Bunting, Swallow, Blackcap, Blackbird, Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Stock Dove, Kestrel, Common Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Sparrowhawk, Starling and Magpie. Feeling a bit tired and very hungry I headed back home but couldn't resist taking a photo of one last flower.
Tufted Vetch.
Next Saturday I have a fishing match so no birding, hopefully out Sunday but only local because on call yet again. Might try and get out midweek but footy and stuff, you know.

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