Monday, 11 June 2018

Bits and bobs

Just got back from a week in Croatia - hence no post last week. I will upload some Croatia highlights soon. Anyway what a cracking weekend we have just had. I had Friday off and went for a walk around St Levan and Porthgwarra where I got a butterfly tick....a Green Hairstreak.

On Saturday Sarah (my wife) and I went down to the Farm. I heard 2 Lesser Whitethroats and one showed really well for us. It is good to see them back at the Farm after an absence of 2 years. Then yesterday we had a walk around Predannack Headland and found lots of nice creatures.

Six Spot Burnet
Common Lizard
Marsh Frit
Little Magpie
Lesser Whitethroat




Friday, 25 May 2018

Dragons are coming

Popped down to the Farm late this afternoon and saw 9 species of Odonata - Red Veined Darter, Broad Bodied Chaser, Black Tailed Skimmer, Emperor, 4 Spotted Chaser, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue Tailed Damselfly and Beautiful Damsel. Also found a new adder - 1st year baby boy I think!

Not sure if the RVD emerged from the Farm as it was an adult male. Any comments are welcome.

Teneral Black Tailed Skimmer

Common Blue Damselfy

Common Blue Damselfly
1 Year old Adder

The Adder above is definitely a first year snake - not certain of the sex but the tapering of the tail makes me think male?

Anyway my 15th individual at the reserve this year.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Week ending 20 May 2018

What a cracking week weather wise! It is still fairly quiet on The Lizard rarities front - that said a visiting birder had a Black Kite on Saturday afternoon. As it happens I was sat, having a picnic with my wife, at Soapy Cove (in sight of the Windmill) at the time! FFS lol.

A friend of mine (Al Taylor) took a lovely shot of one of the resident Roe Deer this weekend:

I was on hand at the Farm on Saturday morning to watch the Peregrine below take a Wood Pigeon over Ruan Pool. I was sat in the hide and the Peregrine took the Wood Pigeon and flew over the hide into the field behind me; I heard Magpies making a commotion - indicating the Peregrine had landed with its prey. I went and had a look and the Peregrine was in the field right outside the hide. The Peregrine was not happy and took off scolding me all the way - I got a few shots. The leg ring is yellow and had YD on it - indicating that it is a Cornish bird ringed in North Cornwall.


Monday, 14 May 2018


Another week has gone by with no rarities crossing my patch (whilst I am there!). I managed to get a few decent shots of a Cuckoo (there were 3 males calling on Sunday).

This chap was being harassed by a Meadow Pipit. One of the regular visitors to the Farm (Al Taylor and his partner Sheila) saw a SE Owl being harassed by a Red Kite - see the shot below (thanks Al). It is good to see the SE Owl still around! I managed to miss all the Red Kites over the last ten days. I did bag my first Swift yesterday though.

The Dragons and Damsels are emerging in good numbers - to date I have seen Broad Bodied Chaser, 4 Spotted Chaser, Black Tailed Skimmer, Beautiful Damsel, Azure Damselfly, Blue Tailed Damsel and Large Red Damselfly. Windmill Farm is a superb location for dragonflies.

Broad Bodied Chaser (Female)

There are also still a few snakes out and about. Here is one of the young girls from the carpark.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Latest stuff

Well what a cracking Bank Holiday Weekend - I managed to evade all the Red Kites but hey ho...I will get some next weekend. I have been away (birding in Cyprus) hence no post last week; I shall do a Cyprus blog post soon.

Anyway here what's been going on at Gates. A couple of weekends ago I met up with my new lil mate - Charlie Francis-Trevail - and had a walk around the reserve looking for Adders and birds. Charlie found these beauties:


Birdwise Charlie and I found Grasshopper Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo and Redd Bunting. I managed to get record shots of some of them.


I think Charlie had a good time - looking forward to his next visit.
This weekend was glorious - the weather was amazing and I spent many hours at the farm. There are a few Dragonflies on the wing - Broad Bodied Chaser, 4 Spotted Chaser, Black tailed Skimmer and Large Red Damselfly. I also had a lovely view of a Stoat and Green Winged Orchids are blooming.


Monday, 16 April 2018

Spring is nearly, nearly here......

Another week of high expectations...not fulfilled birdwise at Windmill - apart from a good influx of Willow Warblers and 2 Groppers no other migrants have braved the journey to date. I am hoping that the warm weather, forecast for this coming week, will push some birdies my way.
There have been some good signs of things starting to happen with a couple of Green Veined Whites and an Oil Beetle out on the Lizard coast path yesterday. I also went down to the Farm early yesterday (it was cold and mizzly) and I found this lil beauty:
This is a female Emperor Moth - she was very wet and limp - I came back later in the day and she was much perkier! It won't be long until she attracts a mate. Whilst I was on the way to check on her I nearly stepped on this little bad boy....

I also found another new adder on Saturday. That is 9 individuals this year so far.



Monday, 9 April 2018

Spring is coming lol

Well the weather has finely turned a little Spring like and the first migrants are in on the Farm. I normally have had my first Damselfly (Large Red) by now - but it is too cold. No March Willow Warblers or Swallows but both turned up this week. I also had a couple of lingering/passing Raptors this week.

There were two S E owls hunting over Predannack Airfield and a Merlin roosting nearby,


There are 3 Roe Deer regulary feeding in the arable fields.


I spent hours over the weekend at the Farm hoping that one of the Alpine Swifts would come my way but in the end I had to go down to the village for them - Alpine is not on the Farm list.
There are plenty of Adders about.