Over the past few days the butterflies have been out in abundance, making the most of the glorious weekend we enjoyed. Amongst the Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, Large Whites, etc, I have seen several Red Admirals. Big, flashy and unmissable, thanks to their black wings set off with eye-catching reddish-orange and white pattern, Red Admirals are summer migrants that travel here largely from Africa. I used to see lots, but since moving to Birmingham, I don’t see many, sadly.
The elderberries hang invitingly from the trees, plump, glossy, and deep reddish purple, and wildlife is unable to resist its lure. While I watch, Blackcaps eat, while Blue Tits take refuge deeper in the bush by Henbury Pond in Highbury Park. Somewhere nearby but in the background, I can her the Parakeets but can’t see them. A Great Tit that had clearly just gone through its moult was sitting on an elder branch, too, preening busily. It looked all puffed up and fluffy, as if
It is only August, but already there is change in the air. The summer, sadly, feels as if it is all but over, the weather has been windy, rainy, and decidedly dull, and leaves are already showing signs of starting their turn from lush green to burnished bronze. Acorns have now reached full size, though are still vibrant verdant in their cups, and scattered on the ground here and there are early fall conkers, their spikey cases not yet the rich brown that tells of hidden treas
There was a sudden rustle beside me, then a flurry as a small bird exploded from its cover among the reeds by the side of the path on which I was walking. I froze, camera at the ready, and followed its trajectory onto a nearby tree. Clearly it was a juvenile. That much was obvious from not just its small stature and slender frame, but the fact it was now waiting patiently in the tree, giving a little call. It was silhouetted, but I decided to take a photo anyway, hoping to be
Have you seen many Swifts this year? So far I’ve barely seen any, apart from the occasional one. There have been no flocks of swifts flying over me, shrieking joyfully as they all fly together so excited at the speed they are going and the exhilaration. I’m missing this seasonal sound and am hoping to hear it again soon, though I am still buoyed up over seeing and hearing the endangered cuckoo for the first time in years (as I shared with you in yesterday’s post). I tried, un
It was a bit of a wild day yesterday! The wind was gusting so hard that a huge section of one of the willow trees by the Long Pool duck pond in Highbury Park tore free from the trunk and crashed to the ground. I always find that sort of sight incredibly sad, but it is a part of nature – and thanks to the management practices in the park, the branch will be left so that wildlife can still make use of it. Birds and small mammals can still shelter in it, insects will burrow insi
The distinctive call of the Ring-necked Parakeets is normally to be heard loud and clear at some point during any walk in Highbury Park, but for the last handful of days it has been conspicuous by its absence. I suspect that they are now nesting. I have pictured them breeding, and just a few days ago (see the blog post from April 20, Love Is In The Air) I shared with you a photograph of them displaying courtship feeding, so this seems like a fair conclusion. Courtship feeding
Saturday morning was a damp one, with showers that made nature watching a lot less fun than the sunshine does… But, as it was the day for a wildlife walk around Highbury Park with local expert Paul Anthony, I was still excited as I donned my waterproof coat. There was little to see as everything was keeping a low profile thanks to the poor weather. But what fascinated me most was the way Paul could simply listen, and from sound alone identify a myriad species of bird, all hid