Orange ladybird count on 6 January 2019

Decided to do my monthly count of the Orange Ladybirds in the cemetery today. The total wasn’t quite as high as last month‘s but still very good: 1,736.

I only counted 366 on the tree where I counted 467 last time, which could be due to the light conditions and my neck getting too painful towards the end so I may have missed a few. 5 gravestones had more than 100 each.

10-spot Ladybird with Orange Ladybirds
22 spot Ladybird with Orange Ladybirds

There were also 14 Harlequins, 1 22-spot (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata) and 1 10-spot (Adalia decempunctata) Ladybirds.

Christmas day walk

I went on a walk with my parents and my sister, and the dog, early on Christmas morning (to walk off the dinner from Christmas Eve 😉 ). The sun came out just before we set off and lit up the line of trees on the other side of the road beautifully. It didn’t last very long and my phone snap doesn’t quite do it justice…We went on one of our usual routes and there had not been much exciting wildlife to see until we reached back the edge of the village and I spotted a couple of Roe Deer in the distance. They’d just come from behind the hedge on the right and stood there for a few minutes.Sadly, something spooked them up and they were soon running away, pretty much my usual sighting of Roe Deers. I thought that was going to be it…
I stopped when I reached that hedge as I could hear some Thrushes and was trying to find them when I spotted this other Roe Deer looking at me across the field on my left.

My best ever sighting, we stood there watching each other for at least 5 minutes. Magical!
Until another Deer arrived from behind her and they both left…

I resumed looking for the Thrushes and didn’t see any but found a few Firecrests flitting in the Brambles on the side of the road, almost at my feet…

Christmas Eve in France

Paid a visit to one of my favourite places on the morning of Christmas Eve, the cliffs of Tracy-sur-Mer, overlooking what remains of Mulberry Harbour. I used to go there looking for fossils when I was a teenager, now I go looking for birds as Peregrine Falcons have been nesting there for a few years. We saw one fly by but couldn’t find one perched on the cliffs.

We found quite a few Fulmars, some of them zooming past below, over the sea.

We also had great views of a pair of Ravens displaying, my second sighting of this species there 🙂

I was surprised at the number of Meadow Pipits, I had never seen so many there. On the other hand we failed to find Linnets and only heard one Skylark (they were a lot more common in previous years). Other birds seen were Kestrels, Stonechats, Chaffinches, Gulls, Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants and, non bird, a Seal in the sea below.

In the afternoon, we went to check for Peregrine Falcons on the Cathédrale de Bayeux. We’d found one in August and were hoping to repeat the experience. We didn’t have to look for long, within seconds of walking towards the Cathedral, I’d spotted one and a few minutes later (once we’d changed our angle) the second one perched by it.

We walked towards the front for better views and were not disappointed, for one of them at least, as the other one was a bit obscured. Can you spot it in the shot below?


We shared the birds with some passers by, showing them the birds through the scope. One couple thought these were falconry birds left there to scare the pigeons… As night was getting close, one of them treated us to some fantastic fly bys, going after some pigeons almost to the ground at some point. Absolutely amazing! A definite Christmas treat!

Dog photoshoot

A neighbour has asked me a few times over the last few months to take photos of a puppy she is looking after sometimes so she can follow his growth progress. He is a Briard and will be very large.
These first shots were taken on his first outing as a puppy mid June.

By mid August, he was already almost as tall as the Old English Sheepdog who’s the other family dog.

The following shots were taken on 28th December (in poor light conditions sadly). He has now grown taller than her.

The muzzle is for his own protection as he has a tendency to eat anything he finds 🙁

On that day, they were joined by a lovely Labrador.

17 Dec 2018

I started seeing and hearing Redwings in the cemetery a couple of weeks ago. For the past week I’d only seen 1 at once but, today, as I was walking through, I could hear some calling from the top of some trees around the round bed. Lovely! Listening to them always cheers me up.

They were spending their time between the Cotoneasters and various tall trees. I managed to count 7, there may have been more, but it’s hard to say as they are so mobile.

I was also lucky to stumble on one of our Jays foraging on the ground. I managed a few shots before it was chased off by a Magpie.

I also had nice views of our 2 Nuthatches but getting any decent shot proved impossible. One day…

Orange ladybird count on 2 December 2018

Amazing count today of 2074 Orange Ladybirds (Halyzia sedecimguttata) and around the usual row of gravestones. That includes 467 in one tree alone, the most I have ever seen on one!

4 gravestones had more than 100 and a few more came close.

For reference last month’s count was 1011 and was already a record, it has now been smashed!

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, grass, outdoor and nature