Sunday, 21 June 2020

Point And Shoot

An alternative Blog title could have been 'what time is it', based on the number of early starts I have had over the past week. The latest I have got up is 5:00 am, and the earliest 3:00 am, all these early starts were to complete breeding bird surveys from various sites between north Cumbria and Worcestershire! By the end of the week, I really did wonder what time is it at times!

I am not a photographer by any means, and on my outings into the 'great outdoors' I always carry my Nikon P900 Coolpix bridge camera with me, because it suits my kind of photography; point and shoot, and hope for the best!

So, the pictures contained in this Blog are various point and shoot captures from my garden to various survey sites over recent days.

Two plant species that I 'snapped' in my garden recently are Alsike Clover and Soft Rush. The Alsike Clover is in my mini-meadow, and the Soft Rush in the rougher margins where anything goes. Although both are very common plants, and in the case of Soft Rush can be a bit of pest depending on what your land management aims are, I think that their flowers are beautiful when you look closely. 

 Alsike Clover

 Soft Rush

At the start of the week I had a survey down in Worcestershire, and sadly I didn't manage to photograph any of the half dozen or so Marbled White butterflies that were floating about, probably because I was too busy counting singing Whitethroats. From a 'birdie' perspective a few of the highlights were two Buzzards, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, three Skylarks (one carrying food), seven singing Chiffchaffs, 15 Whitethroats (eight singing), four singing Song Thrushes and a singing Yellowhammer.

The only point and shoot effort I made was to photograph some Hedgerow Cranesbill.

 Hedgerow Cranesbill

Towards the end of the week I finished my last breeding bird survey at a site in northwest Cumbria. I recorded a good variety of species including a Buzzard, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, eight singing Chiffchaffs, thirteen Willow Warblers (ten singing), seven Sedge Warblers (four singing & one carrying food), six singing Blackcaps, a singing Lesser Whitethroat, five Whitethroats (three singing), a singing Goldcrest, a Nuthatch, five Song Thrushes (two singing & one juvenile), a pair of Stonechats with two juveniles, four Tree Sparrows, a Grey Wagtail, a Siskin, two Linnets, a Lesser Redpoll and ten Reed Buntings (three singing).

 Some of the habitat typical of my survey site in northwest Cumbria

On my walk round there was plenty of Small Tortoiseshell butterflies on the wing, and I managed to photograph one. In a wetter area of vegetation, I photographed some Bittersweet, that has a spectacular looking flower, and is part of the Nightshade family. 

 Small Tortoiseshell


Back to the garden, the other thing that I have to report is that we have a Hedgehog visiting again. A couple of days ago I noticed some Hedgehog scat, so I put the feeding station out with dried cat-food and a bowl of water in, and just after dark that night the Hedgie was there in the feeding station having a good feed. For the past couple of nights, it has returned and has been making use of the feeding station. Fantastic! 

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