Don’t forget to click the pics to see ’em bigger.
Monday 14th March ’16
Think there are four grebes(great crested obviously) on the pond but there might be more. They move so quickly underwater that, unless you see two at the same time, you can’t really tell.
This was a Molly Walking day and quite warm. She enjoys paddling to have a drink without having to bend down.
Here’s three grebes at once. If I recall correctly, I did catch sight of four at once but not on camera.
It is possible to tell dunnocks from sparrows. Dunnocks tend to be solitary or in pairs, sparrows flock, especially in bushes. Sparrows have fatter beaks than dunnocks which also lack the male sparrow’s black throat and chest feathers.
This ‘plane flew over quite low. It was seenlink elsewhere the same day.
Battered and broken and covered in lichen, elder trees still push out spring shoots.
A fallen tree covered in moss.
Robins sing their courting (or territorial?) songs.
Considering they’re such a widespread and common bird, it’s surprising how few chaffinches I see.
Blue tits, indeed all tits, have stopped flocking and are now either singletons looking for a mate or pairs that have found each other.
Mallards are seriously courting now. See the little tuft on her head? That’s where males have grabbed her while near drowning her as they have their wicked way.
Magpies (aka the devil in a dinner jacket) are really handsome birds.
Male mallards always look smug, but especially after jumping a female.
I used to think that it was only the male robins that had the red breast, but the females are almost indistinguishable, the breast is a little duller is all.
The wicked looking thorns are on a bramble that’s beginning to show some leaves.
A pair of grebes ‘having a chat’. They seem to do this at intervals in between diving after fish.
There was a pair of goosanders – here’s the female. The recent regular visits by these attractive birds seem to have stopped now.
A solitary grebe.
Cloudy day made interesting by the sunlight streaming through.
There’s loads of maggies round here.
Rabbits stay near the perimeter of the rugby field ready for a dash for cover.
Greylag geese are apparently the ancestors of domestic geese. Not as often seen as canadas.
Sloes are bloomin’ lovely.
The blackbird was a very few feet above my head on a roof on Dock Road. Thought a bit of silhouetting might improve it.
21st March – first day of Spring
Another Molly day.
Bullrushes are starting to fluff out and their seeds are blowing in the wind.
Getting bored with these panoramas of the pond yet?
Grebe and more grebe.
Molly hurtles across the footboard at Morse Lock.
Why do dogs like sticks?
Down at the bridge where Stubbing Lane crosses the River Ryton another panorama shot. Showing the much lower levels since Wed/9thlink
The trees by Stret Lock are favourites of crows but that doesn’t stop magpies using them.
On Shireoaks Woodland ‘Country Park’ there’s signs of spring.
Apart from Sloe blossom and lichen, primroses are flowering and there’s a few bees buzzing around the pussy willows.
Blue tits are seeking seeds in the alder cones and lesser celandines are glowing yellow. I couldn’t resist bringing this one out from its background.
Shireoaks Hall from the west.
Flock of greylags.
Pano of one of the fishing ponds.
Pano of Shireoaks Hall & outbuildings from the west.
Pano of the Hall outbuildings.
The Hall from the south.
The long lake or ‘Canal’ with a heron.
Flying low on the way to landing at Netherthorpe.
The Hall from the east.
Starlings on the wire.
A robin on a fence and another in a hedge.
Wednesday 23rd March
Pond panorama (Yaaaaawn!)
Bunnies, pollen and a blackbird.
Blackthorn blossom buds.
Four pics of grebes – there’s three different ones here! The one on the plank is rather unusual in that it’s rare to see them out of water..
High over the canal – a heron.
Lichen on the fence at Stret Lock.
Deep Lock shows grooves created by horse tow ropes.
Fence posts are occasionally covered with moss.
A top view of a teasel.
Crow balancing on a tree top.
Kestrel by the riverbank, on the field and up on a rugby post.
Sparrow (not a dunnock)