Thursday, 5th November
Strictly speaking, this first item should be recorded as being from 4th November. It was found in the overnight moth trap and photographed in the morning of 5th November, but it is moth recording covention that moths are recorded as being from the date that the trap is put out. The Green-brindled Crescent is a moth I have only ever recorded once before (on 29th September, 2019), and I was delighted to find this second one as the sole catch of the night. This one was a little less colourful than my previous catch.
|Green-brindled Crescent (Allophyes oxyacanthae) - from garden on 4th November, 2020|
I was busy in my study that morning, but had my camera at my side. I couldn't resist a shot of a Woodpigeon. This species always strikes me as looking less than intelligent, with a tiny head in comparison to its body. However, the moulting process on this one seems to emphasise this.
|Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) - garden on 5th November, 2020|
This Goldfinch, also photographed through the glass of my study window, compensates for the ungainliness of the Woodpigeon with its contrastingly handsome features.
|Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) - garden on 5th November, 2020|
The sun came out in the afternoon, and I made a late visit to a lake close to my home, in the hope of finding an owl. The lake usually attracts a number of Greylag Geese and Canada Geese, and as it gets towards dusk, these birds take off and head to their roosting grounds. The sound is wonderful and it is a delight to behold. The Greylags left first.
|Greylag Goose (Anser anser) - Longmoor Lake|
As there was a different area of the site that I wanted to visit in order to check for owls, I missed the later departure of the Canada Geese. At the north end of the lake, a couple were feeding the swans - something that they said they did on a regular basis, with the swans instantly recognising them, even from the far side of the lake, as they approached!
|Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) - Longmoor Lake|
Friday, 6th November
The moth trap went out on this evening and resulted in just one moth - the wonderful fur-coated December Moth! This one is a female of the species, being much larger than a male and having 'un-feathered' antennae.
|December Moth (Poecilocampa populi) (female) - from garden on 6th November, 2020|
Feeling the need to photograph something (anything!), I attempted a few shots of common garden birds. Coal Tit has, thankfully, started to put in a few more appearances, but rarely gives photo opportunities. The focus on this shot is, sadly, soft but I'm intrigued as to what it has in its bill - it looks like a leaf.
|Coal Tit (Periparus ater) - garden on 7th November, 2020|
|Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) (male) - garden on 7th November, 2020|
Tuesday, 10th November
I made a late afternoon visit to nearby Hicks Lodge, noting the fabulous autumn gold as I walked to the lake.
|Gold! - Hicks Lodge|
Just before reaching the main lake, I usually take a devious route which allows me to stealthily approach the edge of the lake without disturbing any birds on the water. As I passed through a small thicket, I noticed a fungus that I do not remember encountering before, although it is considerd a common fungus. It was in deep shade and so my grabbed photos were not good.
|Stag's Horn or Candle-snuff Fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon) - Hicks Lodge|
|Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) (female) - Hicks Lodge|
|Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) - Hicks Lodge|
|Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) - Hicks Lodge|
|Leucistic (or cros-breed) Greylag Goose (Anser anser) - Hicks Lodge|
|Greylag Goose, with leucistic (or cross-breed) bird (Anser anser) - Hicks Lodge|
No photos for this day, on which the peace was disturbed by an invasion of 32 Starlings in our garden!
Thursday, 12th November
After a long absence, we had recently seen the return of a pair of Stock Dove to the garden. Here is one of them.
|Stock Dove (Columba oenas) - garden on 12th November, 2020|
In spite of the date, I decided on a return to Longmoor Lake. I arrived a little earlier than on my previous visit and so managed some shots of a few birds on the water.
|Greylag Goose (Anser anser) - Longmoor Lake|
|Teal (Anas crecca) (male) - Longmoor Lake|
|Coot (Fulica atra) - Longmoor Lake|
Just after taking that last shot, I was accosted by a lady with a camera asking what lens I was using. We had a short chat, during which I said how veratile the Sigma 50-500 was, being able to use it for macro shots as well as long-distance shots. Little did I know that a couple of minutes later I'd be using the macro aspect on a caddis fly that I saw fly down into the grass. I have no idea of the species.
|Caddis fly species - Longmoor Lake|
Having returned to my car I set off homeward, stopping in Normanton le Heath to photograph a Kestrel on a wire. Sadly, it seems like a long while since I photographed a Kestrel sitting on anything more natural than a wire.
|Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) (female) - Normanton le Heath|
|December Moth (Poecilocampa populi) (male) - from garden on 13th November, 2020|
Monday, 16th November
Sitting in the conservatory, I watched in amazement and anticipation as a Grey Heron headed our way. Sadly, it stopped on the roof of the house behind us. I grabbed my camera and shot upstairs to get a better view. It moved from the apex of the roof to to a lower flat roof, and eventually took off again and headed in the direction whence it came.
|Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) - from our house|
I missed getting a shot of the Goldcrest that briefly did grace us with a visit.
Wednesday, 18th November
This day marked the end of the first fortnight of our four week lockdown period.
We had another visit from a Sparrowhawk. Yes, those eyes really are something!
|Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) (male) - garden on 18th November, 2020|
This ends this blog post. Hopefully, my next post will cover the last two weeks of Lockdown II, if I can gather enough material!
In the meantime, take good care and hang on in there - hopefully, help is on the way.