Having fallen behind a little in my posting this post covers yesterday’s sunny patch work, sadly today I am sat at work in my windowless office, well technically I will be when this post goes live, I’m actually laying on the sofa writing this post in preparation. Its a complicated world this blogging sometimes.
Sunny Patch Walk
A little reddened from my woodland foray’s on Wednesday, I slathered on some sun cream grabbed my camera bag and headed out into the blistering, sticky heat of Thursday morning. My patch at the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve awaited me.
Arriving on the patch I was caught in two minds, long lens for the birds, or macro for the bugs, as I was watching a Brimstone butterfly feeding on a thistle I opted for the macro. Snapping a few photos of the stunning yellow butterfly as it fed I thought I had made the correct decision, and as I watched several Common Blue butterflies fluttering around the short grass beside the path searching for nectar bearing flowers, I was more convinced. I never managed to find one of these little blue gems at rest mind you.
|Brimstone feeding on Thistle|
A Change of Lenses
I soon regretted my choice though. After entering the Aqueduct hide I quickly exited again as Barn Swallows seemed to be twittering about all around outside the hide, on leaving the door I spotted a quick moving sharp winged bird, and raising my bins was pleased to see not the shape of a small falcon but the slate grey of a Cuckoo as it flew through the reserve.
I quickly changed lenses once more, but too late for the stunning cuckoo, a bird I would love to photograph, I then spent a fruitless quarter of an hour trying to capture the Swallow in flight, for some reason they all came out either dark or blurred.
Moving on through the reserve I enjoyed some lovely close views of a rusty coloured male Pheasant as he strutted across the rubber path in front of me, the bright red wattle of his face, clashing garishly with the shimmering green of his head.
|Male Common Pheasant|
Little from the hide
The resident Little Owl was sat in similar positions to my walk on Tuesday. Although more obscured, so no photos, resting in the fallen trees behind the farm hide.
From the hide itself little moved, a pair of Little Ringed Plover and a couple of Lapwing, but not much else. The air however was aloud with the sounds of bird song in various forms; harsh croaking from the carrion crows; the twittering of Sedge Warbler, their jumbled song mingling with the calls of the Little Ringed Plover. A distant Green Woodpecker laughing in the May sunshine; the screaming calls of Common Tern as they flew around the reserve searching for potential nest spots or small fish to dive on from above.
It was a wonderful few minutes, even the sounds of passing trains couldn’t diminish from the wonderful soundscape of nature. In fact there is a little feature at the end that might give you a clearer picture of the wonderful sounds I could hear.
The stilt pits were quiet, still suffering the effects of recent rains, so few of the smaller islands are visible. A thick layer of algae seems to have appeared in the past few days, turning the usually clear waters murky and dull.
In comparison the river path was alive, not with birds but with hundreds of Azure Damselflies and Banded Demoiselle. Their dark wing patches giving them the appearance of butterflies as their unusual flights took them across the steady flowing waters of the Ouse.
A Reed Warbler, burst into song as I walked the high bank of the Ouse. I stood watching as he slowly climbed his way up the thin reed stems; his bright white throat shimmering in the sunshine and quivering as he sand his scratchy song to the world.
|Reed Warbler running through his scratchy song|
Making my way home, the sticky feeling heat making the moments of shade or light breezes all that more enjoyable, I was soon out of the heat and relaxing once more with a cool drink and a bite of lunch.
One Minute on the Patch
I thought I’d try something different today, so here it is, one minute of sound recording of the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve (recorded on my iPhone, and volume increased, so not the best). Hopefully this gives an ambient idea of the sounds I get to enjoy.
|Young Pied Wagtail|
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