Sunday, 31 December 2017

Breakfast time

We had a little bit of snow - the first for four winters I think.  The pheasant came to the door for breakfast because he couldn't find much else to eat.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

End of year favourites - Farther afield

This post is the last of my end-of-year reviews and shows a few photos from beyond Newcastle and Northumberland. The most exciting bee of the year was the wool carder bee which I found in Regent's Park in London.  These are ♂ above and ♀ below.

Other sightings in or near the village where my mother lives in Northamptonshire were brown hawker (♂)

Southern hawker (♂)


Hairy-footed flower bee (♂)

Beautiful demoiselle (immature ♂
 and ♀)

Tawny mining bee (♀ above, ♂ below)

And in Co Durham a red squirrel.

I wish you a Happy New Year.

Friday, 29 December 2017

End of year favourites - Northumberland

As I live on the northern edge of Newcastle it is very easy to escape into proper countryside.  Away from my garden and my two local haunts of Gosforth Park and Banks' Pond I most often head north up the Northumberland coast or west up the Tyne Valley.  Here are a few photos from my travels in Newcastle and Northumberland this year.

I expect you knew what they all are but if not here's a list: brambling (♂), common frog, ashy mining bee (♂), common lizard, chocolate mining bee (♀), adder (♂), grey seal, ring-necked parakeet, common hawker (♂), willow tit, yellowhammer (♂), hawfinch (♂), swallow, twite (♂), shore lark, snow bunting (♂), roe deer (♀).

Thursday, 28 December 2017

End of year favourites - Banks' Pond

This is my local dragonfly hotspot and gets better each year.  I have seen 15 species of odonata there - nine dragonflies and six damselflies.  They include four spotted chaser

Broad-bodied chaser

Emperor dragonfly (plus azure damselfly)

Southern hawker

Large red damselfly

Banded demoiselle

Azure damselfly

Black darter

Ruddy darter

Common darter

Migrant hawker

Emerald damselfly

It is also a great place for butterflies and day-flying moths, including common blue butterfly

Small copper

Six-spot burnet moth

Cinnabar moth

I have also seen brown hare,

roe deer, common buzzard, green woodpecker, lesser whitethroat, and yellowhammer amongst many others.  My plan for next year is to walk around the pond at least once a week during British Summertime and to post a report here each week.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

End of year favourites - Gosforth Park

I have been spending more and more time in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve, which is run by the Natural History Society of Northumberland.  Much of the time is spent in working parties and helping with teaching, etc, but I do also get time to go in and watch the wildlife.  It is amazing to think that all these creatures are so close to my home, only a mile away as the sparrowhawk flies.  Here are a few photos from 2017.