Sunday, 28 September 2014

A day at Leighton Moss

I had started to type this up a few days ago but as usual, stuff gets in the way so this is actually a post about last Sunday's trip!

As it was a lovely sunny day oop north, we decided to check out Leighton Moss, a reserve I have shamefully not managed to find the time to visit despite not living a million miles away...until Sunday. Cracking reserve belonging to the RSPB, brimming with wildlife. We'd not got there as early as I'd hoped in favour of a lie-in but getting there for 10ish we certainly weren't disappointed!

About 10 mins into the reserve walk and out pops this little fella, very curious and very happy to pose for photos! Even started chirruping away at us, I do love a Robin serenade :)

A bit of a preen...
Very tame indeed.
Heading down the Causeway we found a haven for dragonflies, more specifically Common Darters, living up to their name and darting about all over the place!

Common Darter (male)
Common Darter (male) with head cocked to the side

Not sure on this one but I think it's a Brown Hawker,
possibly newly emerged?
One of the highlights of the day, we were treated to some stunning views of a male Marsh Harrier, he landed in the reeds a couple of times and sent the ducks crazy for a little while... Not great shots as I'm still to lay my hands on an SLR but  you get the gist!

This was just before he landed in the reeds,
unbeknown to a group of ducks who sailed right past his hiding place!
And some other pics from around the reserve:

Cracking idea, the name suits it very well

A plucky pheasant

Great Egret in flight

Little Egret, spot the yellow feet!
A bathing Water Rail, in the middle of the day,
such a treat!

Redshank feeding
A hide of Twitchers! Must be the collective noun...

The Eric Morecambe Hide. And a silly Me. Eric was a keen birdwatcher
and spent most of his childhood watching wildlife in the Morecambe area.
If you get the chance to visit this reserve I highly recommend it, a great range of habitats and you are guaranteed to see a whole host of species whatever the weather or time of year.

I shall leave you with this cute picture of a certain spiky critter we found on the way home one night, moved him off the road and watched him shuffle on up someone's garden :)

Not my hands by the way!

Hoping you've all had a great weekend :)

Meg x

Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Hawker and a Highland Holiday

A little while since I last posted - unsurprisingly! - but it's been such a hectic few weeks, this last week especially. Bat surveys every night and occasionally a dawn one thrown in for good measure, reptile mat checks, habitat surveys and more. Better to be busy though I find :)

First up, some pictures from this week that you might like:

Female Common Hawker Dragonfly
What's left of a Lords-and-Ladies fruit spike
Found this newly born little mite under a reptile mat, really hoping
it's parent hadn't abandoned it!

Possible baby Field or Bank Vole
A beautiful dawn sunrise
Heading home from a dawn bat survey certainly has its perks!

A Gatekeeper from the other week :)
Managed to fit in a 4 fruit crumble too as is only polite
at this time of year

I and the other half had a weeklong camping jolly in the Highlands a fortnight ago and apart from needing to move into the van halfway through the week (high winds in a tent make for next to no sleep!) we had a grand time. We took both our SV650 motorbikes in the back of the van and camped firstly on Skye for a couple of nights before moving on the the Isle of Mull.  We wanted to have a holiday that would combine both walking and biking, I've been lucky enough to visit Skye a fair few times on the bike but not walked much of it so we camped at Glenbrittle at the foot of the Black Cuillin Mountains and headed up to Coire Lagan, a crystal blue loch at the end of a scree scramble. Great fun and we were fortunate to have the most gorgeous weather for it which made for spectacular views.

One side of the Cuillins, on the approach to Coire Lagan
Coire Lagan is Gaelic for Corrie of the Little Hollow,
although it's a pretty big hollow in my opinion!
What a view.

Mull was a first for both of us and it was well worth the trip. We'd intended to ride the 130 mile round trip of the island and typically, the only day of the week to pour with rain was this one. We carried on regardless and for 120 of the 130 miles it poured down but that didn't do much to dampen our spirits! The mountains and dramatic scenery just added to the atmosphere, it just meant I couldn't take anywhere near as many photos as I'd have liked. We did make a couple of stops though:

A delightful (and soggy) Tobermory
Calgary beach
Dramatic mountains
A Highland Coo! (naturally)

A view from very close to our camping spot, I really didn't want to leave!
And one of the best things about the week? NO MIDGES*, yes it really is possible to have a midge-free break in the land where the Haggis roam free!

*Ok well maybe one or two but Smidge kept them away. Perfick :D

Well, that's enough photos from me for now, until next time.

Meg x