Sunday, 28 April 2013

Fox cubs

Highlight of my year so far - as wonderful as the marsh harrier from our garden gate was, I guess I am a big softy after all because on our walk today we came across these gorgeous fox cubs. We counted eight but there could have been more, most of them played in the thicket but three of them ventured towards the edge where it was a little bit more open. We had our dog with us so we kept our distance and stood watching for a good half an hour, I could have stayed until dark but we needed to get home and our dog was starting to get a bit agitated, so reluctantly we left them to play.
I am so pleased I took my camera - I almost didn't as I had decided the light wasn't great for taking photos and I was right but at least I have some kind of record.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Comma Butterfly

The first butterfly I have been able to photograph this year, not the first one seen this year, that honour went to the Peacock on January 1st, we have also seen small tortoiseshell and peacocks this month but this is my first comma of the year and how lovely it is to see one again

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Signs of Spring

I was gently reminded yesterday that I should be blogging more, my excuse that I was waiting for something new to photograph, wasn't really that convincing!
It's not that I don't take my camera out with me it's just that most of my pictures are of things I have blogged about before. Our lane is still fairly leafless, and there is only so many ways of showing bare twigs and grass.
But yesterday before my mild telling off, I had been out with the camera. I had actually chosen to use my macro lens with the hope of seeing a butterfly. So please view the below pics with that in mind - macro lens!

 the swallows have arrived

the birds are singing

we have catkins

and the blackthorn is just about to burst into flower

so spring is on its way and more pics of butterflies and bees too I hope!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Cotton Dell

Our lovely peaceful walk through  Staffordshire Wildlife Trust reserve -Cotton Dell today -

 every so often you just had to stop and listen, we were surrounded by bird song, mainly tits, nuthatch and the occasional drumming of woodpeckers. and all the time the background noise of Cotton Brook.

I was hoping we would see a fairy and we weren't disappointed
This one is made by Fantasy Wire 

Cotton brook banks were covered in these Butterbur
I was also hoping to see or at least hear a chiffchaff - no luck I'm afraid, but we did watch this dipper for a good few minutes before it finally spotted us and flew up stream. We also saw a couple of mallard behaving very strangely were they hiding from each other or trying to hide from us?
 and then in the area below we saw two woodcock - very brief glimpses but great to see them!

Monday, 1 April 2013

On the 19th March 2011 we visited Georges Hayes to view the beautiful show of daffodils, and after all the snow and wintry scenes over the last week and this Easter weekend I had hoped that a return visit today might just prove that Spring is actually happening.
We arrived to find the whole woodland covered in snow, undeterred we continued with our walk.
The wood looked spectacular even under steely skies and at time we caught glimpses, where the snow had melted, of a late spring to come with a mass of wild garlic leaves.

But we really had to hunt for any sign of daffodils, treading very carefully, wherever possible on the same footprints of  previous walkers, as we were aware that under our feet daffodils could be on the verge of breaking through the snow.

So this weekend wasn't the right time for viewing the daffodils this year - hopefully in a couple of weeks time they will be out in their full glory