15/04/2021-Sparrowhawk, another amazing day of raptors capped off at Lakeside and sky: 10 different photos in this set to those I tweeted tonight
I took the first picture in this photoset of a grey silverfish in my room again this morning. As I worked later on I was delighted to spot two birds flying out the window, binoculars revealed a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a Carrion Crow. A brilliant sight to see in the binoculars, I do love both raptors and crows so seeing the two together is always great and it is interesting behaviour. Its interesting how the crow comes across as the bigger party in the sky really as I am used to seeing them go for the much bigger than them Buzzards more often. The Sparrowhawk which I saw so effortlessly dodge the corvid and glide through the sky was so notable as like I mentioned yesterday I am having an extraordinary week for birds of prey especially at home and immediately outside at Lakeside on lunch breaks. Due to this I joked to my Mum that I’d see the Sparrowhawk today in keeping with the theme of the week to make it five birds of prey in five days. But whilst we have seen Sparrowhawks around the neighborhood frequently this often quite urban bird of prey since 2019, I had not seen one at home this year yet. So the odds weren’t necessarily in my favour but it came true and again this year for seeing a bird I had almost predicted it.
Before starting my walk I had as I tweeted on Dans_Pictures a colourful and great session of taking macro photos in the front garden which is abloom. One of the words I used for a challenge in a Facebook group I am in this week to spell April across the week so Monday post photos relating to A, Tuesday post photos relating to P etc. which I have really enjoyed doing a great way to think of how photos fit themes as always and really get me thinking. I got to Lakeside and with the sun in and out, which with plans today and tomorrow with me on leave all week next week so in line with the recently slightly eased lockdown restrictions we will be doing a bit further afield day trips to do two broad routes at Lakeside as a sort of last burst before possibly not coming for a while taking a lot in wildlife I hoped and landscapes at this precious local site and some bits I wanted sun for so the sun whether it was shinning brightly of snuggling into a thick strand of cloud decided my route a bit, and took the second and third pictures in this photoset as I made my way like yesterday east of the steam railway track when coming through the north eastern kissing gate towards the steam railway station, then I today went down past to the visitor centre then through the rougher path north of the University of Southampton sports fields where I saw brilliant flowers last month up to the ford then back through the lakes. By the station I delighted at seeing and hearing very well another Blackcap I have had such a top week for seeing these important spring time birds. I heard Wren really well too as I then advanced down the rough path which I took the fourth picture in this photoset of.
Along this path I did enjoy taking in flowers once more, cowslips again, a late daffodil with orange in the middle which I noticed that day late last month as spring was really coming on and some white and then further on off the path typical blue bluebells which I just loved taking in. I tweeted photos of both on Dans_Pictures tonight, I especially found the white quite delicious to look at.
Coming up from the path to go through the gate and in the field shown by the sixth picture in this photoset to get along through the lakes, I was thrilled to spot what is now the neighbourhood Red Kite or at least for this time of year anyway based on past years circling above me. It was fantastic to watch it glide through the air, looking stunning, big and bright against blue sky and dark cloud alike. My kitchen sink was my long zoom lens for my DSLR today, in that I brought everything but it, the regular and macro lens for my DSLR which did well with their pictures the landscapes and closeups but wouldn’t have the zoom length to get me very close to take a picture of this bird and my bridge camera which is not suitable for moving subjects. But it was close enough for me to want to try for the picture, so I used my normal lens and despite lacking the extra 100 millimetres which can make all the difference I produced something presentable I feel, two pictures I tweeted one on Dans_Pictures and the other is the fifth picture in this photoset.
An impressive sight and that was my I word for the Facebook group today with the pictures I took and tweeted of it greeted me next as the group of cowslips which I noticed as my first this year in late March on my last annual leave days had overcome a slope looking towards the visitor centre and it looked so beautiful seeing them sew a striking yellow carpet onto the landscape. Spring continued to abound lately next as I caught up with and followed round a lake a bit the female Mallard and ducklings I had enjoyed so much on Tuesday’s walk. With my bridge camera with me to keep birds in mind and I needed it for this one for distance as they raced into the middle of the lake I managed the seventh picture in this photoset of the ducklings. Its one of the fastest movements I’d seen in young birds the days old young ducks are such able swimmers already. Walking round this side of the lake deviating slightly from the original planned route led by the Mallards I got to see the beautiful scene in the eighth picture I took today in this photoset and I loved spotting the forget-me-not with a bit of that long staying lesser celandine my first of the year which I took the ninth picture in this photoset of and I tweeted one of it with the celandine. A breathtaking flower to take in and my first of the spring which I loved seeing a key part of my brilliant start to my spring of flowers this year.
On the way out of Lakeside I did take a sky picture which I tweeted, and it became a raptor hat trick day as now I saw a Buzzard flying overhead I am so lucky and happy to have so many birds of prey around and I feel so happy with seeing them. This evening I took the tenth and final picture in this photoset of the sunset looking quite red. I felt this was the night for a sunset as I had sensed it would get nice and red which I had been after for a while in a photo as I had not done it for a while it either seems to be big clouds blocking the sun or not enough light cloud for anything to go light red lately with lots of cloud scenes out the back and it did. Downstairs approaching the now 8pm sunset I was taking my moments to go upstairs to check on the setting sun. It was great to see a glow of light eliminating my room and the back room on the middle level as I had seen before. A beautiful end to another packed day, I hope you all had a good one.
Wildlife Sightings Summary: Two of my favourite birds the Red Kite and Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Blackcap, lots of nice Robins at Lakeside, Wren, Dunnock, Blackcap, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black Backed Hull out the window again, Starling, bee, grey silverfish and I heard another of my favourite birds the Green Woodpecker.