Monday, 23 October 2017

Little Owl

I clicked the shutter for a quick record shot and was about to take another photograph with my zoom lens when I heard voices behind me and noticed a family with a football heading down the road in my direction. Naturally I was not the only one who was disturbed...

You can imagine, then, how pleased I was when I uploaded my pictures later that evening to discover that I had at least taken a photo of half an owl!

Spotting this creature made me realise how little knowledge I have about the species. I know that the Little Owl (otherwise known as Athene noctua) is not a bird native to the UK and that there has been a marked decline in numbers, but I have so much more to learn. This site, UK Little Owl Project, is a brilliant starting point.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Annual Visit to Gondwanaland... at Marks Hall, Essex

This Gondwanaland sign always brings a wry smile to my face...
There were plenty of ladybirds about on Saturday, including this one who was tucked up in advance of over-wintering.

The shepeherd's hut is in a sorry state. We thought a colony of Hornets had moved in, but did not go too close to investigate!

Autumn colour... on a rather grey October afternoon.

Lots of ?duckweed: presumably not such a good feature...

A few Fox-and-Cubs strands added a burst of autumn colour to the bank of the stream...

... and a couple of peacocks added a bright burst of their own.

There were several ladybirds, largely Harlequin varieties, around the memorial site...

Most of the Fly agaric toadstools had been nibbled by wildlife.   N.B. It is *POISONOUS* for humans.

Autumn colour, the reason for our visit...

... and more seasonal splashes.

The croc by the stream reminded me of its more colourful 'rock' cousin on Great Cumbrae in Scotland - here.

Having walked past this hut before in the woods, it suddenly occurred to me yesterday that it is an air-raid shelter.

I'm more of a spring bunny than an autumn crocus, but I do love the bright colours of the season.

A dash of red (there were holly berries, too)

Speaking of Autumn crocus...
No spring bunnies here, but it seemed strange to see primroses in mid-October. We always looked for early daffodils in South Wales in late November.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Heron on the Roof

We have often seen Grey Herons flying over the rooftops to reach the stream that runs through the Local Nature Reserve just beyond our garden, but this one was a bit closer and was probably after fish in a neighbouring pond. I wonder if it will return...

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

No Barn Owls, but...

Part of the excitement of wildlife watching is that you never quite know who or what will turn up. We headed for a spot where we had seen Barn Owls on several occasions in the past, but on this particular afternoon (last Sunday), there were none about. We did however catch an unexpected glimpse of a Little Owl from the car window, but it had flown by the time I could click my camera. Just as we turned for home we noticed this Kestrel on an iron fence. Suffolk is full of surprises!