Thursday, 27 March 2014

Shoresearch, Snowdrops and Sunsets

Back in February I persuaded my lovely Mum to come along with me to a Shoresearch event. These are monthly happenings run by the Marine team at Kent Wildlife Trust and aim to record the marine species that are found on the shoreline. Different species are likely to be found depending on the geology of the beach. We went along to the Shoresearch at Copt Point in Folkstone. The weather was gorgeous! Sunshine for the entire time! There was also a record number of people who turned up, with some Wildlife Guides from France joining us. It really was a fascinating few hours - seeing creatures I had never seen before. Find more info at Kent Wildlife Trust - Shoresearch

Fabulous blue skies at Copt Point

Masses of egg wrack (Ascophyllum) - this is one of the only sites where this species of seaweed grows on natural objects

Sugar Kelp - Laminaria saccharina

Dog Whelks - Nucella lapillus

Sea slug - Acanthodoris pilosa

Shore Crab/Common Littoral Crab - Carcinus maenas

Small Spotted Catshark eggcase - Scyliorhinus canicula

Me searching the shore!

Beadlet anemone - Actinia equina

In comparison to the creatures featured above, these more common garden birds may seem dull to many people. However if you watch these little birds I can almost guarantee that you will be surprised at how interesting and endearing they can be. They are the perfect species to observe behaviour of, simply because you can get relatively close to them without them worrying about your presence. I saw an opportunity and took it. The neighbours may have thought I was odd hiding behind the sheets hanging in the garden to dry. Little did they know I was stalking our regular house sparrows and blue tits and watching them devour the fat balls we put out.

Mr and Mrs spuggy having a bite to eat

Gorgeous little blue tit

March 1st is a special day for my family so my Mum, my Auntie and I visited a sweet little church in Challock (Website Here) where there were hundreds of snowdrops. The sun shone occasionally through fast moving clouds and in the sunlight the early daffodils were gleaming and the snowdrops were shimmering.

I'll finish off with some pretty sunset photos from a few weeks ago. I love the wavy patterns the clouds have made.

Licking the ground - odd dog with a right mucky face!

Another post in quick succession from the last one. Just had the odd 20 minutes over the last few days to add to it. Tomorrow afternoon I will set aside some time to read everyone else's blogs and see what you have all been up to! I hope all my readers are well :)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Long Overdue!

Well I am so far behind with all this blogging business yet I have so much to show and tell! The photos in this post are in fact from the very beginning of Feb! I have contemplated just posting about up to date things but I quite liked these photos. I'll save stories from volunteering for another post and in the mean time I'll just leave you to have a little gander at these. I do hope you are all okay and enjoying the less wet weather :)

Walking at Seasalter on 1st Feb
Redshank and oystercatchers

Screwing his eyes up really tight while he sticks his snout in the sea to retrieve....

....An empty can of 'tropical guava' flavour energy drink. Delightful.

Pouncing and leaping

Wader tracks

Monster tracks

Our Minnis Bay and St Nicholas at Wade walk on 2nd Feb
From left to right: Oystercatcher, turnstones, redshank, and in front common sandpiper (?) followed by more turnstones.
Update: poss common sandpiper is in fact a dunlin in winter plumage - thanks to Stewart :)

Hummingbird Robin


...a bit closer


Getting his beak right into the home made fatty mealworm block

...and retreat

Off he goes with his beakfull

Finally - pretending to be a sparrow or a tit of some variety

Spring weather arrived early...

The usual visitor to the fat balls

A lovely bee on the pretty purple crocuses

Our resident pair of collared doves

Pretty pup enjoying the February sun

A few photos from my volunteering expeditions during Feb

Sheep on the marsh in the project area

A couple of mute swans wandering the marsh

A swan's webprint vs my wellie print

Sheep with a cool hair do!

Love walking Bracken just before it gets dark - such gorgeous lighting.

Pheasant feather I think

That is it for now folks. In the past week I have been on an amphibian survey and ecology course and a biological recordings course. Both very interesting and useful. To top my week off I am going to Cornwall with my Mum for 6 days. Very excited! Lots of lovely things planned so fingers crossed for decent weather.

I hope you have all been enjoying the sunny spells and been out making the most of it! Hopefully I'll catch up with you all soon and post some more recent photos :)