Since I put the feeders up in the car park at work we’ve had lots of wildlife popping in for a feed. Recently we had our first jay and then a wild Black rabbit, hopefully I’ll get pictures next time they come.
A regular visitor has been a male greater spotted woodpecker but it’s really nervous and doesn’t hang around for very long. Today however a female turned up and she was a lot more open to having her picture taken.
As today was forecast to be the only decent day of the long weekend I decided to get up early and make the most of it. The RSPB reserve at Old Moor in South Yorkshire was my venue of choice and it didn’t disappoint.
Spring is in the air and I was hoping to see the great crested grebes perform their weed dance. They did start rising out of the water and nodding at each other, but I think she may have had a headache and it quickly fizzled out and they went for brunch instead.
A little grebe got up close and personal and gave me an eyeballing.
These two should really have got a room, I don’t know which one looks most suprised!
The star of the day for me though was this Redshank who looked great in the spring sunshine and then invited a new bird for me, a Dunlin to join her for lunch.
All in all a very Good Friday, enjoy your Easter break.
We seem to be losing famous people by the day at the moment but there was one at the weekend which particularly struck me.
Barry Hines wrote A Kestrel for a Knave which was made into the film Kes. When it played at the local cinema back in 1969 my Dad took me along to watch and my love affair with birds of prey began. I loved the film, who can forget the bullying games teacher, the scene where our hero gets the cane for no reason and the tragic outcome. If you haven’t seen it please do, you won’t be disappointed but you might struggle with the Yorkshire accents.
Later at school we read the book in English, the whole class waiting the moment when our quite posh English teacher had to read the line “and put his hand in the dog shit”. Imagine a class of 13 year olds hanging on every word and the disappointment when she substituted poo for the offending word!
So in memory of Mr Hines here are a couple more of my recent kestrel shots.
I’ve written before about the problem we have in the UK with mink on the rivers. they used to be farmed for their fur and many people including me thought it cruel and inhumane. However some misguided people thought freeing the animals was the solution except they released an alien animal into the countryside where they had no natural predators and preceded to decimate local wildlife. This one was on the river near me where I spend a lot of my time so its not something I wanted to see. However its not the animals fault its here!
Just a quick thank you to my 200 followers. Your comments, views and likes are really appreciated. Here’s one of my favourite photo’s from the last couple of weeks to just say THANKS!!.
I had a trip out to a different nature reserve yesterday for a change of scenery and spent a pleasant hour watching a pair of kestrels enjoying some welcome Spring sunshine, As usual with wildlife and me they were slightly too far away but I did get some interesting shots when a crow tried to land in the same tree.
To be honest I don’t think the crow had spotted the pair and pulled out of landing but before giving Mrs Kestrel a bit of a Sunday surprise.
Crazy lunchtime at the car park feeders today. First up one of the voles was happily grabbing a nut when the other shoulder charged him out of the wall! I’m sure I heard an eeek as he fell. No injuries though and it was quickly back tucking in. The woodpecker was flitting around and just as I got some pictures it was chased off by a chaffinch! Then as I packed up, switched off the camera and closed the car window it landed 5 feet away from me. It’s good fun this photography lark
Last weekend was the first time since the Boxing Day floods that I had managed to get down on the riverbank looking for the kingfishers. The devastation the floods caused is apparent everywhere you look. The two hundred year old bridge over to the church is damaged beyond repair and closed. All along the river bank detritus clings to branches way above my head. Plastic waste is everywhere and in one tree the complete front bumper of a car complete with number plate hangs forlornly.
Its a depressing vista and it will take awhile for Mother Nature to work her magic. The banks of the river have been stripped of vegetation and all the kingfisher perches are long washed away. The geography of the river has changed as well. Where I used to sit for hours on end now has a totally different view and the pebble beach where dippers and grey wagtails entertained me has been moved 50 yards downstream to a more inaccessible spot. It will be interesting to see how Nature moves back and what Spring will bring.
I didn’t see the kingfishers so at the moment I’m just hoping they survived the floods and will be back soon. I’m sure they will find new spots to sit and fish and hopefully their nest site survived and they can produce a new family to delight me through the year.
Hopefully the next time I blog about them there’ll be some pictures!