Monday, 30 June 2008
Saturday, 21 June 2008
A special bird this one. It's probably the first ever Peregrine to be ringed in Bedfordshire - I say probably, as I don't actually know for sure. Anyway, these birds have nested for the last two years at the same spot. Last year we think they failed just as they hatched the chicks. This year we had higher hopes!
In readiness for the coming breeding season we had a box installed. They loved it and used it straight away. The female soon layed some eggs - three; two normal ones and a bizarre white one! The white one soon went and we were left with two eggs and a sitting female. She sat on them right for ages and just as we started thinking she was sitting too long, they hatched! Good job we had a camera on the box too. All seemed to be going well after the first week, then we hit some bad weather and disaster happened - we lost one. A few more days passed and the last remaining chick was about ready to be ringed. As soon as we'd got her down it was apparent she wasn't looking good either. At that age she should have been screaming her head off and having her eyes open - this wasn't looking good. We got her back up to the box as quickly as possible and left them to it. Unfortunately only a few days later she passed away too.
I wonder what will happen next year? Hopefully we'll get at least one to fledging stage...
Last week, I was rather lucky to see this rather sombre looking orchid. Known from only four sites in the UK, Fen Orchid (Liparis loeselii) is a very rare plant indeed. At least all the known sites in the UK are protected.
I've got plenty of these things singing around my place at the moment, including two I can hear from where I type this! This lovely bird was a welcome distraction on the drive home from work on Friday evening. Corn Bunting, Broom, 20th June 2008.
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Male Great Curassow, Costa Rica, February 2007 - to see a pair of these magnificent birds strut right out in front of you along a forest trail gives you one hell of a surprise! Needless to say we were chuffed to see these at La Selva. Unfortunately the novelty soon wore off as they were actually rather easier to see than we'd first imagined...
This is Bombus hypnorum - a Bumblebee that 's been slowly spreading in England since it was first seen in 2001. Keith Balmer found a few a short distance from my house so I thought I'd go and have a look. I was quite chuffed to see several individuals feeding on bramble flowers exactly where Keith had seen them previously. On my walk back to the car I found a few more too. The one photographed above is a male, but I did see a queen as well, but she was too quick for me. More info on this species on the BWARS website.