Posted by: mynaturaldiary | September 1, 2019

Harvest Time 2019

Tableaux from the 2019 harvest.

Give us this day our daily bread.


Posted by: mynaturaldiary | August 23, 2019

Heather Time

The Heather is at its peak on Rosedale Moors

and Guisborough Moors, with Sleddale in the distance.

The contrast in colours is great to see.

The Grouse butts stand out clearly.

As do the Red Grouse when flushed.

Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus)

Look hard and you can see Meadow Pipits on the heather.

Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis)


Posted by: mynaturaldiary | August 12, 2019

Tern Chicks

Common Terns have chicks on Paddy’s Pool island at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme,

A little over a month ago, the island was awash with Black Headed Gulls and their chicks, which have now vacated the place, to be replaced by Terns. They are busy getting food in for their hungry chicks, who will have to migrate soon enough.


Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

They hover above the ground, searching for their young and keeping a watchful eye out for prey and predators.

By September, all these birds will have begun their migration to their winter homes on the west coast of Africa.

Also on the waters by Paddy’s Pool were Little Grebes (dabchicks). Blink and you’ll miss them

as they are constantly diving for food.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)


Gadwall (Anas strepera)

and Shoveler

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

were also seen by Paddy’s Pool.

On the fields were Canada Geese

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)

On the waters before Saltholme hide

and in the air, flying in skeins were

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

The skeins are a sure sign that the local families are now strong enough to fly together and that the northern birds are returning to Teesmouth for the winter.

Occasional Lapwing were seen.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

They will soon be picking up in numbers as the light continually falls through autumn, so by early winter, we will be home to thousands of these birds.

Finally, the Avocets are still with us.

Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

These too will be heading south soon as the seasons progress.

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | July 24, 2019

Partial Lunar Eclipse

The full moon rises over Guisborough Moor, but this time in a partial eclipse.


Posted by: mynaturaldiary | July 12, 2019


The poppies were bobbing in the breeze at Greatham Creek

There is work going on in the area.

Across the road lies the Teesmouth National Nature Reserve and Seal Sands.

The Harbour Seals lie on the mud at low tide.

Harbour (Common) Seal (Phoca vitulina)

Waders cross the mudflats in search of food.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

The last video also shows Redshank.

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

As the tide begins to turn, Cormorants dry themselves on the waters edge.

Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Little Egrets were also hunting on the waters edge

and on Greatham Creek.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | July 2, 2019

Nightjars at sunset

Sunset in Guisborough Woods is a gentle transition this time of year.

Long after the sun has set the sky remains light.

In the twilight Nightjars emerge.

Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)

They can hover in the air, and have a most mystical flying action, a few powerful wingbeats keep them aloft. This stands in contrast to another bird which flew overhead; a Woodcock.

Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)

Both birds can be heard here in this sound recording of the dusk, with the bird calls emerging out of the silence on the Moor. A Barn Owl can be faintly heard after 04:30 mins. A Nightjar can be heard churring after 20:00 mins.

This is the Dawn chorus component of the recording. A Nightjar is churring loudly at 16:00, 37:00, 52:00 and 58:00 mins. The Dawn chorus begins at this latter time.


Posted by: mynaturaldiary | June 23, 2019

Midsummer moths

High summer brings out moths at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme,

First, the amazingly well camouflaged Buff Tips.

Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala)

They are patterned to match birch trees.

Next, an Elephant Hawk Moth.

Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor)

This one was pumping blood back into his wings, prior to flying off.

Then a Figure of Eighty.

Figure of Eighty (Tethea ocularis)

And a Burnished Brass

Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis)

All these were caught in a trap used to count the species on the reserve before being released back into the wild.

Darters are back in numbers.

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

The damselfly keeps still (unlike the cameraman).

This chap appears to be lost.

Golden-bloomed grey longhorn beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens)

They are normally found in the area of Turkey to Kazakhstan. We appear to have one at Saltholme!

This one appears to be a member of the Cantharidae family.

There are 4072 species of beetle in the UK in 103 families. Globally 25% (400,000) of all animal species are beetles…

There are plenty of plants to feed on this time of year.

Of course, the birds are still on the reserve.

Ringed Plovers were seen,and this video shows both species together.

Ringed plovers have a yellow bill, with a black tip, and no eye ring.

Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)

Little Ringed Plovers have a black bill, with a yellow tip, and a yellow eye ring.

Little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius)

When on the ground they have the habit of keeping still, then running quickly, before stopping and keeping still. This pattern is the same as the one shown by Lapwings.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

A Sandpiper was walking at the waters edge

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

Avocets, the bird adopted by the RSPB as its symbol were seen from Saltholme hide.

They are stunning birds to watch with their filtering action when feeding in the shallow water, rather like a Flamingo as they sweep their bills through the muddy water in search of their food, which is mostly invertebrates.

Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Another fine looking bird is the Great Crested Grebe, which were seen on the waters.

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

There were also Little Grebes

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Ducklings were also seen.

Pochard (Aythya ferina)

The latter being Tufted Ducks.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Shoveler were also present; ducks with huge bills.

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Mallard were also seen

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

along with Lapwings

and Little Egrets.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Teal were also there

Teal (Anas crecca)

Moorhens were cleaning and preening themselves.

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Common Terns are a summer visitor to the reserve. They are nesting this year on special floats moored in the middle of the waters.

They are fine looking birds.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Sand Martins were still nesting.

They fly through the air at speed.

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

One bird which hovers when hunting are Kestrels. Once it detects its prey it swoops down.

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)


Posted by: mynaturaldiary | June 9, 2019

Staple Island

Time to take another trip to the Farne Islands, courtesy of Billy Shiel.

In the harbour were Eider Ducks, know locally as Cuddy Ducks (after St Cuthbert, who lived on the Farnes in splendid isolation).

Eider (Somateria mollissima)

Out at sea the view to Dunstanburgh Castle is spectacular.

The sea is calm. Closer to the Isles, the birds become apparent.

Cormorants have a colony on the rocks.

Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

They are only a small number of the birds on the islands, and are outnumbered by Shags, which we’ll see shortly.

It’s once the boat rounds the islets we see the Grey Seals basking on the rocks and bobbing in the North Sea.

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

The distant Cheviot Hills frame Bamburgh Castle.

As we approach Staple Island the number of birds increases.

On the rocks the Guillemots seem too many to count.

Guillemot (Uria aalge)

Upon landing on Staple Island, you begin to understand that there are 22,000 Guillemots here, as the rocks are covered and the air is full of them.

The colony is vast.

About 1 in 20 Guillemots are the bridled form.

They have a white ring around their eye, compared to the majority which are dark patterned.

The camera manages to freeze their flight pattern well, especially when landing.

They have adapted to fly, but also use those wings to swim underwater up to a depth of 180m in search of its prey, which in these waters are sand eels.

The dark bird in the front of the video above is a Shag.

Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

Razorbills are another seabird on the isles, with about 200 birds on Staple Island.

Razorbill (Alca torda)

There are a few Arctic Tern pairs on the island, more on Inner Farne.

Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea)

There are about 1800 Kittiwakes present.

Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)

And Herring Gulls which also nest on the island.

One leaves its nest temporarily…

… then returns.

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

Fulmars are a particular favourite of mine, with their elegant tube noses, and stiff winged flight.


In the far distance was a solitary Gannet.

Gannet (Morus bassanus)

Lesser Black Backed Gulls nest on the island with about 50 pairs. They ‘tax’ the local birds to give up their catches, relying on physical presence to intimidate the Puffins.

Lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus)

There was also a Rock Pipit.

Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus)

Puffins are the other great delight on the island, with about 13,000 birds present.

Puffin (Fratercula arctica)

The air is full of them flying overhead, beaks full of sandeels.

The hour allocated to landing is soon up, and the party heads back to the boat. Sailing back to shore gives fine views of the lighthouse.

and Dunstanburgh Castle.

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | June 2, 2019

Swaledale showers

Gunnerside in Swaledale is a pastoral delight this time of year.

The verdant meadow grass is interspersed with wild flowers to provide winter fodder for the cattle.

The grass and flowers blow in the breeze running through the valley.

There is an interweaving of man and nature here, with a patchwork quilt of dry stone walls, interspersed with barns for livestock in the winter.

A shower passes through…

then departs. The path continues on towards Ivelet, heading to Muker along the Swaledale valley.

Above in the skies, Oystercatchers pass overhead calling to each other with their echoing sound.

Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

Passing through Ivelet, a Pheasant sits in a field of flowers.

Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Looking back down the valley gives a fine view.

The dry stone walls make their way up Crackpot Side.

Chaffinches were near the woods.

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

On the road back to Gunnerside a farmer passes by on a quad bike, with a sheepdog passenger.


and sheep

walk past the houses by the road.

Swallows fly above at their fast pace.

Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

A wild rabbit sits very still by the side of a dry stone wall.

European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Back in Gunnerside

the Swifts scream out overhead as they fly at breakneck speed.

Swift (Apus apus)

and Blackbirds hunt for food.

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

The signs point the way on, deeper into Swaledale.



Posted by: mynaturaldiary | May 22, 2019

House Martins

To Little Ayton to see House Martins fly around their nesting sites in an earth bank by the side of a stream feeding the River Leven.

House Martin (Delichon urbica)

Arcadia indeed.

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