Saturday, 19 April 2014

A RING OUZEL AND CHINA GP PREDICTIONS

I went out again by bike yesterday and explored some public footpaths and byways around my area. I decided I'd head towards Pitsford and Moulton as they were quite close to home and easy to get to by bike.
I was a bit gutted as for all my pedalling efforts the best I saw were a few Blackcaps, a male Kestrel chasing and catching Pied Wagtails, one new Little Owl site in a tree by the side of the road at Moulton College by the time I got my camera out of the bag the owl had fled into it's hole and never came out (swine) and a large white rabbit (I kid you not), I turned down Spectacle Lane from the college end, it can be a bit dodgy down here at times with yoof's smoking weed and fly tippers tipping their waste which is a shame as the hedgerow was buzzing with small common species plus a few Yellow Wagtails in the first ploughed field, three buzzards circling overhead, more Blackcaps, one solitary Swallow (still no Swifts!) and a nice Grey Wagtail at the ford.
I was pushing my bike (makes it easier to photograph) up the hill in the lane heading towards Spectacle Lodge when a fox ran across the lane, missed it but a quick glance into the field next to the Lodge I spotted a Ring Ouzel....record shot time as the bird never came close enough which was a shame.
Crap shot but seeing the bird made the bike ride a little more satisfying.
CHINA GP RACE PREDICTIONS
WET RACE
1st Daniel Riccardo
2nd Lewis Hamilton
3rd Seb
DRY RACE
1st LEWIS HAMILTON
2nd NICO ROSEBERG
3rd NICO HULKENBERG
As a curious side bet if you're that way inclined if Man.Utd loose to Everton put some money on David Moyes being sacked, I heard he's being sacked regardless of the result after this weekend!!

Monday, 14 April 2014

A CHIFF-CHAFF AND ME ON A BIKE??

I have to travel six miles to work and six miles back, of late I've been somewhat annoyed at the start/stop nature of the commute, it seems like a complete waste of money and petrol so made a conscious effort that once the weather improved I would start cycling...secretly I was hoping for a monsoon but that never happened.
So far in a week I covered over 60 miles and weirdly I've enjoyed it except the up hill bits but even now I'm cycling these though it was rather embarrassing when a 11 year old on a BMX with a flat rear wheel overtook me, he giggled too as he went pass, I would've swotted the little twerp but I was to knackered :o).
The other reason for cycling was to shed a bit of weight too. On the way to work there is a short little path that not many people use, it's not very long and isn't much of a shortcut to work, I think it was once part of the old Northampton/Bedford railway line, as it is the path passes under the existing railway line, you have to get off your bike to get pass some tricky gates (stops kids on motorbikes) zig-zag a down hill path and pass another set of tricky gates before you cycle along a level gravel path with steep embankments either side, it definitely feels like an old railway cutting as a result of the tricky gates and it not being a shortcut not many cyclist nor pedestrians come along it.
But it's a little gem of a place, every morning the dawn chorus has been getting louder and louder, everything from Song Thrush, Blackbirds, Robins, Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming some Blackcaps and Chiff-Chaffs, the cycle home has highlighted the other aspect of this pathway, I counted six species yesterday, mostly Orange Tips and weirdly mostly males and with my mouth open gasping for air I've collected plenty of bugs too!
I went back on Sunday (by bike) with my camera Blackcaps and Chiff-Chaffs were what I was after so was the Peregrine I'd recently blogged about, sadly no sign of the Peregrine and the Blackcaps were sticking to the back of the trees out of "photographic" sight and it's not an excuse look below at the image, no "tidying" nor trimming of trees here......
 See what I mean it was going to be hard to get an image of any birds, I got this butterfly which is crap I kept blowing it's lime green wings in the bright light even when exposed at a minus 2 it was still blown.
 So I got a brainwave, it hurt, and headed for the zig-zag path as you could hide a bit behind the fence plus with the steep banks the Chiff's that were high up were now either at eye level or looking down at them. Still getting an un-obscured shot was tricky.


 Not actually searching for food but peeling the bark away for nesting material which was really interesting to watch, never knew a bird would use tree bark for nesting material.
 And finally one in song which is what I hear every morning, this cycling lark could be fun!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

URBAN PEREGRINE PART TWO AND THREE

Working in the St.James area of Northampton now two days on a trot I've spotted an urban Peregrine. Yesterday afternoon I saw one hunting feral stock doves over the rugby ground/old bus depot area.
Today whilst waiting to do a delivery again in the St.James area of town I heard the unmistakable sound of a Peregrine, I quickly located the bird, spiralling ground wards but there was two birds, it had caught something a female Peregrine, it was two Peregrine's spiralling towards the ground before releasing their grip, the female flew over towards the lift tower, a previous nesting site a few years back but it flew around the back of the building and I was unable to check the backside of the building  to see if it roosted up (side facing rugby ground/bus depot) the male flew towards me and over Stortons gravel pits, it'll be good if they nest successfully again but seeing as the old building is slap bang in the middle of a housing estate, the building gets used for the odd bit of abseiling and used for engineering students at the local uni' so might get a fair bit of disturbance...not to mention nosey buggers like me working nearby too lol.........