Saturday, 9 June 2012

Yellow Wagtails and Green-winged Orchids!


A couple of weeks ago we visited a local wildflower meadow in the hope of seeing some orchids but found we were slightly too early for the ones which grow there. About the only thing found of interest was this Sloe Shield Bug also known as Hairy Shield Bug due to the fine hairs covering its abdomen.


Sloe Bug

However, while we were there we met a couple who asked us if we had heard of Draycote Meadows as they had been the week before to see the Green-winged Orchids and that it was well worth a visit. We said we knew Draycote Water well but that although we had heard of the meadows we had never been sure where they were. They gave us directions but cautioned us that they were not easy to find. As we realised we were cutting things fine in terms of seeing the orchids at the peak of their flowering period we decided to go the next day. To say it was a difficult place to find was an understatement! A journey which should have taken around thirty minutes took twice that time, it was extremely difficult to find and we made many wrong turns and if I hadn't eventually spotted just one other car in the gateway we would have sailed straight past!

Anyway, having finally tracked down this SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) we had no trouble finding the flowers and what a lovely sight they were! Incidentally, isn't it sad that what fifty or so years ago would have been considered just a typical flower filled meadow is now seen as quite unusual and in need of special management and protection? 



'And 'tis good to go forth among scenes like these,
Amid music and sunshine, and flowers and trees,
If 'twere only to waken the deep love that springs
At the sight of all lovely and innocent things.'
(Anonymous)


Although the orchids would have looked a little better a week before, they were still very pretty. As is so often my luck though the minute we stepped into the meadow the sun disappeared so I took some photos but decided to do a little exploring and follow the bridleway for a while. Thankfully, it wasn't long before the sun returned :-)



So we retraced our steps and returned to the meadow to try and get some sunnier photos. On the way we saw this little fellow.

 
 Rabbit 

'Some rabbits have bright shiny noses
I'm telling you now as a friend
The reason their noses are shiny--
Their powder puff's on the wrong end'
(Unknown)


Once widespread, there has been a steady decline of the Green-winged Orchid since the 1950s due to agricultural 'improvement' of its grassland habitat. It is sadly, very scarce in some areas of the UK such as the south-west, and in Scotland can only be found in one small area on the west coast of Ayrshire.


Green-winged Orchid (Anacamptis morio)

The green 'wings' of this lovely flower are not always obvious but at least a hint of green can usually be seen in a few plants. The flowers can vary from a paler pinkish mauve to deeper purple and sometimes even white. Here's a closer view.





Orchids are dependent on a fungus which allows them to germinate and obtain nutrients and to compete with other plants. Therefore they are extremely vulnerable to fungicides, fertilisers, lime and ploughing. The Green-winged Orchid depends on infertile or nutrient poor grassland.



 'Flowers, lovely flowers! ye are to me
Most dear and precious things;
Nature's soft pencil over ye
Its brightest colouring flings.
Ye seem to me, though blooming here
Bright beings of another sphere.'
(Mary Ann Gray)

After we had taken our fill of these lovely flowers we decided that as we were so close we would round off our trip with a visit to Draycote Water. It was a Sunday and a nice day so I knew it would be very busy there and I wasn't surprised that there wasn't much to be seen in the way of bird life. There are, however, always plenty of Pied Wagtails flitting around hunting for insects.



Pied Wagtail

These Canada Geese allowed me to try an in flight shot which I usually tend to avoid.


Canada Geese

I am not overly knowledgeable when it comes to gull ID especially with all the various stages of plumage they go through but I think this is a first Winter Common Gull which, by the way, in my experience is nowhere near as 'common' as the far more often seen Black-headed Gull. Mind you, whoever named the different gulls could have done a lot better I think especially when they named a gull with a brown head the Black-headed Gull ;-) But I digress! If my identification is correct I am slightly confused as to why it would still be at the 'first Winter' stage at the end of May! Could it be due to the poor Spring weather this year?

EDIT: Thank you very much to Warren and John for establishing it is a Common Gull in 1st Summer plumage. And no John, your info wasn't at all boring, I found it very helpful. Both of your contributions were much appreciated!


Common Gull (Ist Summer plumage)

There is always an abundance of small flies at Draycote sometimes to the extent that it makes a visit very unpleasant, however, they are very attractive to many of the birds particularly the wagtail family and consequently the lovely Yellow Wagtail can often be seen there and this time was no exception.


Yellow Wagtail






'Oft, in the sunny mornings, have I seen
Bright-yellow birds, of a rich lemon hue,
Meeting in crowds upon branches green,
And sweetly singing all morning through.'
 (Denis Florence MacCarthy)


Finally, another look at the lovely wildflower meadow.





Until the next time...enjoy the beauty of Nature, wherever you are.

66 comments:

  1. such a pretty area! glad you found the orchids. i was able to view a grey wagtail on another blog this morning in a video. now i've seen pied and yellow, too!

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  2. wagtails and Orchids, not unlike my post today Songbird :-)

    Your Gull is indeed a Common Gull, it would be better to call it a first summer bird, this being its first summer ( last summer it was a Juv.) It will be an adult in its 3rd summer ie 2014.

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  3. Those meadows look stunning Jan..I bet they were teaming with inverts too!

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  4. Great post Jan.
    Glad you found the orchids. That's one I've never seen before.
    That Yellow Wagtail is a beauty.

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  5. Lots of lovely images Jan.
    I really like the ones of the Yellow Wag.

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  6. Bonitas fotos y muy variadas.Saludos

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  7. Well done Jan, the Yellow Wagtail is splendid. And you managed to find rare Orchid, you must be well chuffed.

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  8. I like the Sloe Shield Bug, very handsome.

    I only ever see Pied Wagtails here so your Yellow one is a real treat to see.

    The Orchids are beautiful, I'm glad you managed to find them.

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  9. So herrliche Naturaufnahmen,
    Grüße und einen schönen Sonntag
    Crissi

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  10. Your wonderful posts are always filled with such beauty! Lovely narrative and photographs! So happy that you were able to locate the orchids. They really are quite stunning. I was delighted to view your terrific bird images, as well. Love those Yellow Wagtails.

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  11. Hi Jan,
    Love the pic of the Pied Wag, very nice!
    The gull is indeed a Common Gull, a first summer bird. The coverts appear to be more bleached than you would find on a first-winter bird and the head appears less patterned. The primary feathers (P6-P10) appear greyish brown and the legs look to have a yellowish tinge. All things you would find on a first-summer bird. By the way, the first-winters tend to be from Sep-Apr (after the juvenile phase), first-summers from Apr-Sep, second-winters from Sep-Mar and then adult birds.
    Sorry to be a bit of a bore! ;)
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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  12. Hi Jan,

    Lovely photos, the orchids are gorgeous and I don't think I've ever seen any in real life.
    I have to agree that it's so sad that there aren't more wildflower meadows around.
    Just today I saw a stunning verge of poppies in the city centre - was totally unexpected and I'm unsure if they've managed to self seed there or if it's another of the council's wildflower verges. Wish I'd had my camera handy!

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  13. Hi Jan,

    Lovely photos, the orchids are gorgeous and I don't think I've ever seen any in real life.
    I have to agree that it's so sad that there aren't more wildflower meadows around.
    Just today I saw a stunning verge of poppies in the city centre - was totally unexpected and I'm unsure if they've managed to self seed there or if it's another of the council's wildflower verges. Wish I'd had my camera handy!

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  14. Fantastic photos, especially like the Canada Geese one. We have pied wagtails round here, but I've never ever seen a yellow wagtail.

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  15. Hi Jan, One thing I love about this time of year is a meadow! That rabbit is a cutie, and the verse made me chuckle. I adore Wagtails, haven't seen a yellow one yet though - beautiful. Nice 'in-flight' shot of the Geese too! Lovely post.

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  16. Great post with lovely photos. What a beautiful area. I love your header and the colour scheme and name of your blog as well! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  17. A lovely bright and cheery post ~ with your usual fine photography and poetic perks. Very cute verse about the rabbit;) The sloe bug is quite a beauty and goes well with the orchid and wildflower colour scheme. A super photo of the Canada Geese in flight and the yellow wagtail is like a touch of sunny weather! Glad you were able to find the orchid patch...would you be able to find it again now?

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  18. ShySongbird ,
    Your Draycote Meadow looks very much like Marden Meadow down in Kent , which I usually visit for GWO each year , but not this . As you say the green in the name is not easy to make out on the purple or pink flowers , but on the whites , it really shows well .
    That bridleway looks interesting .
    Good job your Gull was cleared up already , they and moths are my downfall . Lovely shots of the Yellow Wags . Most enjoyable .

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  19. Love the title of your post!! You got some wonderful shots of the wagtails. I did see them in the earlier part of the year when I visited a large lake on the outskirts of our city. The colours on thew Sloe Bug are amazing! Those green "wings" on the orchids make them look even more beautiful. I'd surely have enjoyed an outing like that. The meadow views are lovely!

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  20. TexWisGirl

    Thank youTheresa. I saw that Grey Wagtail video too :-) Funnily enough I've seen a lot of members of the wagtail family on blogs in the last day or so.

    Warren Baker

    Hi Warren. Thank you, yes orchids and wagtails, obviously great minds think alike :-) Thank you too for the gull info. I thought that was the most likely explanation but was confused as to when exactly Winter Plumage turns to Summer plumage but with your info and John's I am much clearer now.

    Jason K

    Thank you Jason. Yes, those meadows are a haven for inverts!

    holdingmoments

    Thank you Keith. I hadn't seen the orchid myself before, at least I don't think I had. There don't seem to be many orchids of any type in my immediate area.

    Roy

    Thank you Roy. They are lovely little birds, my husband calls them 'flying custard' :-)

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  21. Lovely photos Jan and its great to see some photos of Draycote Meadow - thanks for the warnings of how hard it is to find!! as like Draycote Water its one of those places I really must visit one day...

    The bridle path looks very inviting and a great place to walk and the Sloe Shield Bug (brilliant photo) is amazing.

    I don't think I've ever seen green winged orchids so it was a real treat to see these lovely flowers. I visited a hay meadow yesterday with orchids - a real visual treat at this time of the year. Its just such a pity that so few meadows have survived.

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  22. Isidro Ortiz

    Welcome Isidro! Thank you for visiting and for your kind comment. Saludos :-)
    Bienvenidos Isidro! Gracias por su visita y por tu amable comentario. Saludos :-)

    Bob Bushell

    Thank you Bob. I definitely was 'well chuffed' :-) It was difficult to find the meadow but well worth the effort.

    Toffeeapple

    Thank you Toffeeapple. The orchids were beautiful and worth finding. I think I have only ever seen Yellow Wagtails at Draycote.

    Crissi

    Thank you very much Crissi. I hope you have a lovely Sunday too!
    Vielen Dank Crissi. Ich hoffe, Sie haben einen schönen Sonntag!

    Julie G

    Thank you for your lovely, very generous comments Julie, you are very kind! I was so pleased we were eventually able to locate the meadow, the orchids looked so pretty and colourful.

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  23. John

    Thank you so much for your comprehensive reply John. No, absolutely not at all boring! It was most helpful and I was particularly pleased to find out exactly when the different stages of plumage occur.

    gwirrel

    Thank you Liz. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure I had ever seen any before either. That verge of wildflowers must have looked wonderful! I know a lot of councils have started doing that which is a great idea. I don't think ours have yet but I have noticed they are mowing round clumps of Buttercups which is great progress!

    Crystal

    Thank you Crystal. I have only ever seen the Yellow Wagtails in that one place. They just love all those pesky flies ;-)

    Omi

    Hi Omi, thank you. The Yellow Wagtails are beautiful birds, the males, in particular are a stunning, bright yellow! My husband always calls them 'flying custard' :-) The rabbit poem tickled me too!

    Linda

    Thank you Linda. You are very kind, I'm so glad you like my blog :-)

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  24. Glo

    Thank you Glo. I had a feeling the rabbit verse might appeal to you, it certainly made me smile when I saw it. Of course if I had your talent I could have written my own :-) Those Yellow Wagtails certainly are a cheerful sight. 'Would we be able to find the orchids again?'...ermmm....not too sure! ;-)

    Greenie

    Thank you. I thought about you when I saw the orchids and remembered that you had featured them on your blog in the past. There may have been white ones at Draycote Meadows but I didn't find them, I shall look again next year...if we can find the place! I'm glad the gull was cleared up too :-)

    Nature Rambles

    Thank you Kanak. I think you would have loved it there! Like the Orange Tip Butterfly, I had no idea you had Yellow Wagtails where you are. Yes that Sloe Bug was an attractive creature.

    Ragged Robin

    Thank you Caroline. I hope you do get to visit Draycote Meadows one day and that you find it more easily than we did ;-) There is another meadow (hence Meadows) which is only open for occasional guided walks. I assume the one we went in is open to everyone due to the public right of way through the bridle way. I don't think I had ever seen the orchids before either, certainly not in that location anyway. I took a quick peek at your interesting post last night and will be over again later :-)

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  25. It was well worth pressing on to find those beautiful Orchids Jan and the wild flower meadow must have been a glorious sight to see?

    Great post and images...[;o)

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  26. Hi Jan,

    So glad you found the orchids, it is such a joy to find these precious plants.
    I miss the meadows of my youth......I felt quite melancholy reading your post.

    Isn't the yellow wagtail pretty.....I have never seen one in the wild but I did have a grey wagtail visit the pond one day last year.
    I also have a nest of marsh/willow tits in the copse. They have all fledged and I am so thrilled.
    No images of course, in fact I do not bother to take my camera when I am with the birds as I am rarely successful in getting an image.
    I have made this garden a haven for wildlife and they have so many hiding places I often only get a fleeting glance.

    Lovely post as always...I love the image of the Canada geese.
    We had terribly gales on Friday and I have spent two days clearing up the debris.
    Heavy rain expected tomorrow.....when will it end !!

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  27. A splendid post Jan with lovely images! The meadow looks a special place and indeed it is with so many lovely Orchids!
    I have only once visited Draycote Water and it was such a bitterly cold day, we were absolutely freezing.lol! I shall have to make a summer visit there and look out for your Wagtails.

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  28. I think everything has been said about your blog Jan. I will just say charming as usual.

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  29. ye gods that Wagtail is bright :D

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  30. Your photos are exceptional today, Jan! The lovely orchids, the flying geese, and the last photo of the wagtail--what a cutie he is. I'm glad you finally found this meadow; it looks like such a lovely place to stroll through.

    Here in my state, the highway department has planted many wildflowers along the roadsides. It's not the same as a wide-open meadow, but still it's wonderful to see when they're in bloom. I wonder how many drivers, though, really notice them--it's made me drive slower on the highways, that's for sure:)

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  31. What a little ray of sunshine those Yellow Wagtails are Jan. I must confess I haven't seen one yet this summer, i've hardly seen a ray of sunshine either!!
    I really like your in flight geese shot and the picture of the meadow, most of the meadows around here are under water:-(

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  32. The Herald

    Thank you Trevor. Yes, it was definitely worth the effort (rather frustrating trying to find it though!) and the meadow looked wonderful especially in the sunshine :-)

    Cheryl

    Hi Cheryl, I'm sorry it made you feel melancholy, that's not the idea at all ;-) I know exactly what you mean though, I find it desperately sad that these lovely, traditional places have become so scarce.
    How wonderful that you have had Marsh or Willow Tits nesting in the garden, no wonder you are thrilled!
    This weather is appalling and I'm so sorry you had damage. We really shouldn't be experiencing weather like this in June!

    Pam

    Hi Pam :-) I do hope you make a return visit to Draycote in better weather. It can be a horribly unforgiving place when the conditions are bad but my goodness it is lovely in warm sunshine...except when the flies are present! To be fair, they are not always a problem.

    Mike Atwood

    Thank you very much Mike :-)

    Pete

    'twas indeed Pete :-)

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  33. Dear Jan,
    You had an adventure! When ever my husband and I go in search of a spot I always pack the picnic basket. We often need a snack by the time we find our spot! I love seeing your meadow. Human expansion has taken over so many meadows....I would love to keep planting my little corner until it is a meadow....Hairy Shield Bug is lovely.....
    the photograph of the Canada Geese in flight takes my breath away...so glad you had a bit of sunshine. Yellow Wagtail is charming! Nice lunch he caught!
    Fun post....
    Sherry, who dances with butterflies

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  34. Dear Jan,
    You had an adventure! When ever my husband and I go in search of a spot I always pack the picnic basket. We often need a snack by the time we find our spot! I love seeing your meadow. Human expansion has taken over so many meadows....I would love to keep planting my little corner until it is a meadow....Hairy Shield Bug is lovely.....
    the photograph of the Canada Geese in flight takes my breath away...so glad you had a bit of sunshine. Yellow Wagtail is charming! Nice lunch he caught!
    Fun post....
    Sherry, who dances with butterflies

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  35. Really nice yellow wagtails, with different feathers than in Iberia.......wonderfull nature post all around and interestings poems (the ones I uderstand.....).
    Saludos camperos!

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  36. Lovely photos of the Yellow Wagtail and orchids. Also liked the shield bug. I only seem to see green ones here.

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  37. Ale się naszukałaś storczyków, ale są śliczne i dziko rosnące, i to najważniejsze. Ptaki też piękne są, a szczególnie pliszka żółta. Królik jest słodki, a owad ciekawie wygląda. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.
    But I've been looking for orchids, but they are beautiful and wild, and it is most important. Birds are also beautiful, especially the yellow wagtail. Rabbit is sweet, and the insect looks interesting. Best regards.

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  38. Super wildflowers!! SO glad you found it and that it is being preserved! IT Is a shame that the wilds seem to be losing the battle for space.
    Great birds in your post, that yellow wagtail is awesome and love the bunny shot!!

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  39. ...beautiful flowers. So glad you were able to see them, even if they were just a touch past their prime. The bunny photo is so cute and the poem made me chuckle... :-)

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  40. Jan, those orchids are beautiful!What a beautiful place and I love that Canada geese shot.Have a great day!

    Shantana

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  41. Rose

    Thank you Rose, you're very kind! I'm glad we finally found that meadow too ;-) It was a lovely place especially in the sunshine.
    A lot of the local authorities have been planting wild flowers over here too, I think it's a great idea, definitely the way to go.

    Phil

    Thank you Phil. I've almost forgotten what sunshine is. It's so disappointing this year and it must be devastating for the wildlife.

    Q

    Thank you Sherry. I think we could have done with a picnic after all that hunting ;-)
    Our lovely island is so small and so much of the countryside has been encroached upon with the ever present need for housing. Sadly, many of the rural places where I walked as a child are now housing estates.

    elcamperoinquieto

    Thank you. Yes, I have looked at photos of the Iberian Yellow Wagtail and it reminds me a little of our Grey Wagtail.
    Thank you for attempting to read the poems, I suspect some of them translate rather oddly ;-)

    Midmarsh John

    Thank you John. I don't think I had ever seen that particular shield bug before, it was very colourful.

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  42. Giga

    Thank you Giga. The orchids were very beautiful. As you say, it is important they are protected in the wild for future generations to enjoy. All good wishes to you.
    Dziękuję Giga. W storczyki były bardzo piękne. Tak jak mówisz, ważne jest, są one chronione w naturze dla przyszłych pokoleń cieszyć. Wszystkie dobre życzenia dla Ciebie!

    Sondra

    Thank you Sondra. I suppose that is the problem with living on a small island, too many people and not enough space. Although one of the main reasons for the loss of so many of the meadows has been intensive farming methods. Luckily there is more awareness now and some enlightened land owners are doing their best to rectify the situation.

    Kelly

    Thank you Kelly. We were lucky that although there were some going over a little there were still plenty of orchids looking lovely. The bunny poem made laugh too :-)

    Nature Stop

    Hi Shantana. Thank you, the orchids really were beautiful especially as there were so many of them. I was quite pleased with the shot of the geese. In flight shots are always tricky in my experience. Have a great week :-)

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  43. Hi Jan, what a lovely post. The Green-winged orchids are very pretty. It is a shame, that even the flowers are becoming rare to see. Beautiful birds too, the yellow wagtail is my favorite. I love shot of the Geese in flight. Wonderful photos.

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  44. 'Agricultural improvement' has a lot to answer for - the Green-winged Orchid is a beauty. It does well here on the IoW in only a handful of 'unimproved' sites.

    The Yellow Wagtail is such a vivid, cheery yellow!

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  45. You take such beautiful pictures. I'm glad you found the meadow.

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  46. eileeninmd

    Thank you Eileen. Yes, it is a real shame but thankfully landowners are starting to become more enlightened and sympathetic in these matters.

    Rob

    Welcome Rob! Thank you so much for visiting and following and for your kind comments. Yes indeed, agricultural 'improvements' have had devestating effects on so much of our wildlife.
    I think Draycote is the only place I have ever seen Yellow Wagtails, they do like it there!

    oldcrow61

    Thank you OC. We were very glad to find that meadow...eventually ;-)

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  47. Another delightful post, with so many wonderful photos. Thank you for brightening my day.

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  48. Love the pied wagtail & all the beautiful photos of the countryside. I will comment "officially" at some point over my way, but just wanted to acknowledge and respond to your question. I don't generally watch TV, so not sure if the Cardiff competition can be seen here, but I am glad to be aware of it, so thank you! (PS: coming up in my last two Wales Diary posts, you'll see that I ended up having quite a bit of great weather.)

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  49. Lovely array of photos!
    I love the Yellow Wagtail!
    Beautiful Orchids too! They should not last long any more...
    Well done, cheers!

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  50. Lovely post ShySongbird, just catching up a bit after not managing to get a look at much recently. Those Orchid pics are really beautiful :-)

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  51. Hello there!! I really enjoyed your trek through the forest and into the orchids:) That sloe bug is really colorful and the shot of the Canadian geese is amazing. I hope that this plant can be saved. I'm finding that many places around the world have a lot of similiar circumstances going on.....I like to call it the "Sins of the Father" syndrome. Plant or animal decline dates back many times to our last century or the early 1900's.....leaving us to pay for their crimes and try to bring a species back. Although it's still happening today by we the people as we continue to develop more land. This topic came up several times on our trip to Wisconsin. But I have hope that we are getting better about managing habitat and being aware of what needs to be done. Hope you are well and have a great weekend!!

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  52. Denise

    Thank you Denise :-)

    Susan Scheid

    Hi Susan. Thank you for your comment and for answering my question :-) So pleased you enjoyed some good weather during your time in Wales.

    Noushka

    Thank you Noushka. The Yellow Wagtails are a stunning colour, so bright and cheerful. I expect the Green-winged Orchids have completely finished flowering now.

    Alan Pavey

    Thank you Alan. I was so pleased the sun came out again, the meadow looked so much nicer when it did and made photographing the orchids much easier :-)

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  53. What lovely photos and interesting birds you have! I can totally relate to not wanting to photograph birds in flight. I avoid this as well, but you've taken a clear shot of those Canadian geese and they look fine!

    Orchids are so pretty, aren't they?
    Hope you continue to enjoy the outdoors. Summer has just begun!
    Hugs,

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  54. Rohrerbot

    Thank you Chris. 'The Sins of the Father Syndrome' describes what has happened perfectly. If only previous generations had been as enlightened as we are becoming we might not be in this situation but of course I suppose if it hadn't happened we wouldn't be so enlightened! Let's hope that more and more of the mistakes can be rectified for the benefit of future generations.
    I hope you are enjoying your weekend :-)



    Wendy

    Thank you Wendy. The problem I have with photographing birds in flight is that I should really change my camera settings to do so but of course there just isn't time so if I do try I just take pot luck and hope for the best, luckily it worked reasonably well on this occasion :-)
    I wish I could say Summer had begun here but although it has officially, in reality it is awful! We had a months worth of rain here overnight! I hope things are much better where you are :-)

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  55. What a lovely selection of shots. The Yellow Wagtail is particularly attractive, and I don't think I've ever seen one. Definitely sad about the decline of our wild flowers; too many people, I think!

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  56. What a delightful post...filled with great information, colour and beauty! Your blog is a joy, and I love the green background you have chosen. As well, I really like the "chirpy comments" at the end of your posts. Perhaps one day I will figure out how to change that part of my blog.
    Thank you so much for all your visits and helpful and positive comments on my posts. I really appreciate it.

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  57. So glad to visit you again.The clock seems to tick too fast for me to catch up sometimes!!

    Lovely,lovely post Jan! The meadow
    of wild flowers is really beautiful and I dare say worth the effort of finding.The tiny orchids
    are very pretty in such a natural setting. Also your photos of the Yellow Wagtail in the sun are superb,as is the geese in flight shot. The verses you find to accompany your post's are truely delightful,...loved the one of the rabbit,..so sweet.:)

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  58. Fantastic set of Images,love the Sloe Bug,great Macro capture.
    John.

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  59. Dziękuję, jesteś kochana. Buziak.
    Thank you, you are loved. Kiss.

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  60. Jeremy

    Thank you Jeremy. The Yellow Wagtails are beautiful, colourful birds. I am lucky to see them there quite often, it must be like having their own private restaurant with the amount of flies there are!

    Linda

    Thank you for your extra comment Linda! I do enjoy tinkering around with my blog from time to time so it is so nice to know my visitors like it :-) I do admire bloggers such as yourself who manage to post so regularly, my posts are rather few and far between, I'm afraid!

    Breathtaking

    Thank you. I agree, time goes so quickly and it is so difficult to keep up with all the enjoyable blogs.
    Yes, it was a pleasure to see that lovely meadow with the orchids. I think I love wildflowers so much because they are growing in their own natural setting where they want to be rather than where we think they should be!
    So glad you enjoy the verse, it is always nice to know when someone appreciates it as I sometimes fear it puts some people off...which is why I usually only use excerpts rather than entire poems.

    JRandSue

    Thank you very much John :-)

    Giga

    Thank you Giga. You are very sweet. Sending a kiss back.
    Dziękuję Giga. Jesteś bardzo słodki. Wysyłanie pocałunek z powrotem.

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  61. The yellow wagtail shots are wonderful, but indeed, all the message is... Beautiful piece of work!

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  62. Meant to say, I love the change of blog name :)

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  63. Chris

    Thank you very much Chris and sorry for the late reply!

    Omi

    Thank you Omi, so glad you like it :-)

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  64. Jan.
    So many nice comments it doesn't leave me much to add, but I must say I love the orchid photo's, not really into flowers, but I do like to see nice photo's of then. Like the Common Gull photo. It is often difficult to I.D. them when they change over the first few years depending on the gull species ie B/H/Gulls 1st winter to adult, Common Gulls 1st,2nd winter to adult, Herring Gull 1st, 2nd, 3rd winter to adult.

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  65. I'm so glad you made the trip to the meadows to see the orchids. Next year you'll know just where to go!! Our orchids are just not budding out. My meadow is full of purple fringed and white fringed. The purple fringed reaches tall, up out of the high grass, and is so striking. I'll never forget the first time I wandered up into the my meadow and saw them...I gasped!!! Lovely post. I enjoyed reading through it very much and loved your pictures. ~karen

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  66. Ken and Karen. So sorry to be late replying!!



    Ken

    Thank you Ken. Glad you enjoyed the orchids. Thank you for the help with the gulls. I found them quite a difficult subject altogether, fun getting to grips with them though...or trying to ;-)


    KaHolly

    Thank you Karen. Your meadow sounds wonderful, a real picture! Yes, we will know how to get there next year...I hope ;-)

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