Monday, 10 September 2012

Gnats the way to do it.

Bit of a flying visit today. I didn't arrive in the car park until gone 9:00 am. A very quite walk up to Greenaways. With only a couple of Great tits and some busy Blue tits on the feeders to show for it. A Yellow Wagtail was feeding on the ground among the Cattle. Grey Herons were evident with three flying around Greenaways. While photographing the Hornets, who are still busy stripping the bark of the young Ash tree.
I noticed a friend of mine pointing his camera at one of the Oaks further along the track. When i eventually caught up with him. He showed me what he had been taking pics of. This stunning Treecreeper.
Photo (c) Derek Woodard.


The Hornets are making a real mess of the Ash Sapling. Stripping large swathes of bark from the main trunk. A Greenbottle fly taking advantage of the exposed sap.

In this next shot the Hornet is digging its jaws into the exposed wood. Are they collecting the sap? Or like the Wasps using the wood for nest building ?

There was plenty of activity along the bridleway. With Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers,  Chaffinches and Long Tailed Tits the most abundant. A flock of a dozen or so Long Tailed Tits gave superb views.
 On the botanic front, the hedgerows are full of fruit awaiting our winter visitors. At this time of year even reeds and grasses can look beautiful.
 From the hide three Little Egrets stalked the margins for prey.

Three Whinchats were on the fence wires and posts along the path past the hide. Walking along the path later on, i managed to catch up with this one on the furthest corner post.
A distant Hobby was perched on a post on Big Otmoor.
A walk along the bridleway (Big Otmoor) produced four Wheatears perched on the top of the bushes, three Bullfinches were also in the same vicinity. As i stood stock still hoping for either a Wheatear or Bullfinch or both to give me a photo opportunity. A familiar call came from behind me. Peering through the twigs and leaves i could just see the Kingfisher perched on a branch above the water. I just managed to get this shot before it flew off towards Noke.
Further along the track, a mirriad of Gnats were gathered in swirling balls and columns.  Migrant Hawker Dragonflies darted back and forth through the throng, feeding on the abundant food supply.




This very smart Grey Heron was showing off its finery close to the track on Big Otmoor.
A stroll over to Long Meadow produced one very brightly coloured male Redstart. Frustratingly he never came within camera range. Is it just me, or have the Redstarts become more elusive of late? When we entered the field we could hear at least two calling. But after walking just a few yards in they became silent. Only the male occasionaly called, giving us a clue as to his whereabouts.

Many thanks Derek for the superb Treecreeper photo.