Thursday, 28 August 2014

Swallows at Dunstanburgh Castle

Because we were walking from Craster to Low Newton and back I took only a pocket camera.  I did at least manage these pictures with the Panasonic TZ20.  The moral is always always take the Canon.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Willow wren

These days known as willow warbler, it is still keeping an eye on me but will be off soon I expect.  The photos were taken through the double glazing so are not too bad considering.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Birds of the week - Pigeons

Wood pigeons and stock doves are a constant presence in the garden.  Wood pigeons will eat almost anything while the stock doves spend most of their time under the nyger seed feeder.  Collared doves are only occasional visitors but a pair was here today.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Robin's pincushion

This is a Robin's pincushion, a gall found on wild roses and produced by larvae of the bedeguar gall wasp (Diplolepsis rosae).  The larvae inside the gall feed on the rose throughout the winter.  The adults emerge in the spring - nearly all are female.

The "Robin" refers to Robin Goodfellow, a woodland sprite in English folklore, also known as Puck.  The ashes of the gall, mixed with honey and applied to the scalp, are said to cure baldness.  I think I'll give it a try!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Wood mouse

Wood mice rarely come out in daylight here but will sometimes venture out at dusk.  Their large ears and large eyes are adapted to a mainly nocturnal existence.

The wood mouse usually has a long tail like this.

This one appears to have lost part of its tail.

This photo almost shows the difference between a bank vole and a wood mouse (!) but has very limited depth of field because of the poor light.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Birds of the week - Through the bedroom window

All these photos were taken through my (ground floor) bedroom window this week in the walled garden.  Most were expected species, although not always easy to photograph. 

This young willow warbler had been tormenting me for days but I eventually managed a distant photo.

Even better was a lesser whitethroat.

And most amazing of all, a sedge warbler, in the sunflowers less than 3m from the bedroom window.  A first for the garden.