All posts by petesbogblog

Road Kill

One of our local Sparrowhawks decided to knock a pigeon down next to me at the entrance to the reserve. The poor pigeon put up a bit of a fight but there was only one winner.

I haven’t included the more graphic end to the sparrowhawks meal

Spotted – a flycatcher

Yes a Spotted Flycatcher, I have now seen one twice in the last 3 weeks having not seen one here before. So I can add another bird species to our growing list. I believe it is not uncommon to see them, but as with many bird species their population is declining rapidly. Between 1967-2012 their population has fallen by 89%! It is a migrant so I presume it will be departing these shores in the not too distant future as they usually leave us in August! They are one of our longest travelling migrants, travelling down to Southern Africa.

Vole in the wall gang

Now anyone who has a phobia for small furry animals had better give this post a miss!

These are a few photos of the local vole residents around Dunces Corner Hide. The family of voles particularly like the dry stone wall around the hide. They appear to be field voles, which is not a major surprise as this is one of the UK’s commonest mammals (estimated population of 75 million).

They are not too shy so I can usually get quite close to take a few snaps, they are more interested in the food.

Unfortunately the poor little vole is a tasty little snack for lots of predators, so it needs to reproduce in large numbers just to survive. They typically have 4-5 young in a litter, which doesn’t sound a lot but then they have 5-6 litters a year!

Foxy on the prowl

As I was closing up the hides yesterday I heard a little commotion at the end of Dunces Corner Pond.

I went to investigate and found all the birds massed at the eastern end of the pond sounding very agitated.

I could see a little orange/red bundle on the edge of the pond and eventually saw it was a fox curled up having a snooze in the evening sun.

Charlie the male swan was not happy with this and decided to wake the fox up by splashing water onto it. Foxy woke up, shook himself off, yawned, had a stand slowly wandered off.

Dragons Den

The warm weather has brought out out dragonflies for some concentrated egg laying.

There does not appear to be as many as previous years and not as varied. We have our usual Common Darters and Southern Hawkers and I have also had a couple of Emperors for the first time (the largest of the UK’s dragonflies).

I have been trying to get some decent pictures of the dragonflies in flight but its a bit tricky as the never stay in the same place for more than a second or so. Below ae my best efforts so far.

Dragon Pics:-

Female Common Darter
Male Common Darter
Common Darter pair egg laying
Female Southern Hawker
Male Southern Hawker
Male Southern Hawker
Male Southern Hawker
Male Southern Hawker

Ashington keep us on track

A big thanks to Northumberland Railway Walks Society for the work they did on the reserve this week, it is very much appreciated.

Thanks to Jacquline for organising the group that came along and all put in a good shift.

Some of the work party in action:-

Below is a before and after of one of the areas the group worked on.

BEFORE
AFTER

Getting a buzz out of food

I discovered a badgers digging efforts on the reserve, a half excavated bumble bee nest. I assumed that they would be back to finish off what had been started so I put a trail camera on the site and the following clips show who appeared:-

B Movie
B movie – pt 2
Fox B movie

When your in a rut!

Its that time of year when our resident Doe attracts the attention of her male admirers. She seems to have two bucks that are vying for her affections. Here are a few pictures of the goings on.

Those of you of a delicate disposition may want to avert your eyes from the last picture in the sequence as it is an image of deer related ‘hanky panky’.

No1
No 2

The main buck looks like a fine specimen, so hopefully that bodes well for fawns next year.