I haven't posted any updates here for a couple of months, but I have been visiting Burton Marshes pretty much every week. During this time, two storm-surges have flooded the marshes, introducing new temporary lakes—much to the delight of the local wildfowl. I've also managed to get quite close to a pair of stonechats on a number of occasions, and taken some pretty nice photos.
Anyhow, without further commentary, here is a selection of photographs from Burton Marshes over the last couple of months (in chronological order):
Went on the Moor Walk for the first time in several months. Glorious weather. So glorious that I wore my shorts! And not a single other soul on the moor—I had it all to myself.
At the gate at the start of the moor, I spotted a magnificent male linnet: as red as I have ever seen.
No sign of any red grouse today, but there were loads of meadow pipits, a kestrel, a couple of rabbits, and quite possibly a lizard!
I can't be 100% sure about the lizard, as I only spotted it fleetingly out of the corner of my eye, as it ran across the track two feet in front of me and disappeared into the heather. But I can't think what else it might have been: it definitely had a saurian jizz about it. And, last Saturday evening, I heard at the farm that someone else had seen a lizard on the moor last week.
A frantic cry from Jen in the kitchen. She had just seen a strange bird on the feeder, but it had flown away by the time I got there.
Jen then proceeded to give a pretty good description of the bird, which I confidently identified as a bullfinch. By no means a rare bird, but not seen before in our garden, nestling just below the Pennine moors.
Postscript (09-Jun-2011): I have now seen the bullfinch. It was actually a male linnet:
… Still a first for our garden, though!
Postscript 2 (11-Jun-2011): Erm… Turns out it was a bullfinch after all. I just spotted a pair of them on our bird table. Fantastic! Unfortunately, by the time I returned with my camera, they had gone.
… So, that's two new bird species in our garden in the same week! How good is that?
Postscript 3 (11-Jun-2011): I did eventually manage to get some bullfinch photos.