Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Clouded Yellow Makes It 48!

Date: 30/08/2016
Location: Durlston Head - Arne (Dorset)
Weather: Stunning Blue Skies, Temp 24c
Other Species: 
Durlston Head
Birds: Common Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear, Buzzard, Kestrel, Whitethroat.
Butterflies: Clouded Yellow, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Lulworth Skipper, Speckled Wood, Painted Lady, Small Copper, Wall, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Large White, Small White

Arne
Osprey, Buzzard, Sandwich Tern, Barn Swallow, Little Egret, Curlew, Oystercatcher.

Observation: 
With many reports of the Clouded Yellow coming in Durlston Head seems favourite and a beautiful day was forecast so off I went. Arrived at 9:30 parking some distance away, FREE and started my walk along the coast towards Durlston after leaving caravan park where footpath took me, saw Small Blues, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals before I'd left the caravans was looking promising!
Cutting up through Townsend Nature Reserve butterflies were fluttering all around me but not target species. Walking along to Durlston Head Reserve I saw plenty of birds too.

Wheatear standing proudly on stone walls also darting around the now cut flower meadow with Common Redstart's and Whitethroat also present.


Back on target and Painted Ladies and Adonis Blues abundant on path towards car parks.


Plenty of these on their second brood about.


As I came over brow a misty Solent and Isle of Wight could be seen.


After chatting with birder and seeing Spotted Flycatchers all seem a bit quiet but kept looking, wandered up past lighthouse and up to car parks, I followed butterfly trail and realised I'd walked in on this trail.... but on turning around I spotted my prey!!

A Clouded Yellow not my best picture as he/she wouldn't keep still followed as long as I could then it disappeared. But species number 48 for me this year, next year the 59!!


A Silver Y moth, so called because of the small Y on it's wings which you can just see here, Seemed to be lots of these about.


This the view across Durlston Bay and Swanage beyond.



At Durlston Castle saw a Wall Brown plus Holly Blue taking Butterfly count for today to 12, 
not bad I thought.


After hunting for a couple more hours around Durlston I started to return to van but not after taking a few shots of the Spotted Flycatcher's who were it seemed catching butterflies too! Watched a group about 5 birds for some time, stunners!


Almost back and earlier in year went in search of the Lulworth Skippers at Durdle Door but a very windy day and not fully convinced I'd seen them left 80% sure I'd seen one. 
But saw 2 mating in last field before I got back, 100% can see small C on wings! 
Excellent 13 now species now!


So still earlier around 1 o'clock so decided to drop into Arne, but on way back was passing the amazing looking Corfe Castle so stopped for a couple of shots.


Had to park in overflow car park but started to wander round. Headed for the Raptor Hide and across Combe Heath which was stunning with heather in full bloom on entering the hide saw I think Osprey through the heat haze very distant and it had it's back to me, very rude! Watched it for half hour when a Buzzard past by and Osprey took off and followed it away.


Walked around all tracks on reserve not seeing an awful lot, maybe heat and mid dayish !?


Walked on to Shipstal beach where most the birds were Oystercatcher, Curlew, Black Headed Gulls, Lesser and Herring gulls but tide out so all distant. Did spot a couple of noisy Sandwich Terns squawking overhead.


While watch a Little Egret put in a brief appearance but apart from Swallows last bird spot of the day.


Common Darter in Car park and I left very happy! Journey back took a bit longer than I'd hoped with it seems accidents on 2 roads making me detour and my Tom Tom not being the best, 2:30 mins! It should be 1:50 but a great day was had.


Gonna do a Butterfly Special with where I saw my 48 in a roundup of my Butterfly year!

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

10% Chance of Rain. Mmmm

Date: 28/08/2016
Location: Newton St Loe - Patch
Weather: Drizzle with some Brighter Patches
Other Species: 
House Martins, Barn Swallow, Buzzard, Jay, Green Woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Cormorant, Treecreeper, Song Thrush, Coal Tit, Bullfinch.
34 Species

Observation: 
Headed out on Patch walk and it almost immediately started to drizzle! Thats not 10% chance of rain!! But out through Bath Mill not normal stuff Blackbirds, Goldcrest and Robin.
 2 Jay's squawked overhead and disappeared in trees so carried on up to fields very little apart from Wood Pigeons, fields have been cut now so easier to see things if there was anything which there wasn't!
Into Village and House Martins first seem to be buzzing about over Newton Farm Shop with smaller numbers of Barn Swallows, I thought other a good number of House Sparrows picking up grit from road.



Think this one didn't like his photo being taken!


Carried on down through Church with numbers building of Hirundinidaes, then at Send a Cow wires almost full!!



I'd estimate about 70 House Martins plus equal numbers of Barn Swallow. A great sight to hear and see, I wondered if they are amassing here ready to leave?
 Normally they sit on wires up by Newton Farm Shop? 
It's getting very busy up at shop now. 


On down to lakes and still 7 Cygnets (Mutes) done well this year but no new waterfowl apart from... Cormorant! Juvenile? Plus....



Adult sat high in normal tree.


 From here marched on home dodging a few more Showers of rain! 10% yeah right!!
Just before home a Juvenile Green Woodpecker sat before yaffling off.



When I got home Bullfinches on tree so here's a few shots of the family.




They seem to have done well this year, still up to 5 birds at once on feeders. 



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Friday, 26 August 2016

What a difference 3 days make .

Date: 23/25 - 08/2016
Location: 
Newton St Loe then SandPoint and Chew Valley
Weather: 23rd Lovely blue skies warm sunny,Thursday Very wet and Grey !
Observation: 
A bit of a catch up first the patch a stunning day with Barn Swallows lining the phone wires in Village feeding up the youngsters. Also the Hobby still over village, thought at first Kestrel but on getting home and looking at images his Red trousers could clearly be seen !


A count of around 35 species but great all the same. Skylark not seen for a few weeks on patch nearly didn't see this one can you ???


Just to prove there is one!


Next off Sandpoint. Reports of a Clouded Yellow on Wednesday so off i went, Weather forecast was not promising but what the heck !
A few Wheatear in the rain and 2 Common Blues was it on first pass.


Walking back towards trigpoint and this juvenile Stonechat looked fed up with rain like me !


But rain went off and a few birds started to sing so did another lap hoping !
Chiffchaff and overhead Barn swallows were in goodish numbers.


Apart from a few small white butterflies that was all O and a small group of Linnets.

 
Back towards Carpark and probably best photo of the day a Blackbird !!


On way home and it's raining again oh joy ! But decided to stop Chew Valley Herriots end a few people feeding bread and gulls going ape !


Great looking Lesser Black Backed gulls.


Couldn't see any Yellow Legged gulls but Gadwalls at back with the best of the ducks .


Still raining and nice weather for ducks and Coots i left them to it . 
Will i ever get my Clouded Yellow ? 
Tune in next week for more :)


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Monday, 22 August 2016

Black Tern + Kingfisher @ Slimbridge

Date: 22nd August 2016 
Location: WWT Slimbridge
Weather: Cloudy + Windy
Other Species: Cormorant, Redshank, House Martin, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Black-Tailed Godwit, Black Tern, Common Crane, Ruff, Pied Wagtail, Spotted Redshank, Teal, Dunlin, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Wigeon, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Greenfinch, Long-Tailed Tit, Kingfisher, Little Egret, Barnacle Goose, Shoveler
51 Species Total

Observation: After some stormy weather and some good sightings from WWT Slimbridge, another visit was in order! We headed straight for South Lake on arrival in the hope of the Black Tern. After a few minutes in it flew, giving us some great views!



A single Common Crane was present to the right of South Lake, along with 2 Spotted Redshank and a very brief visit from a group of 19 Dunlin and a single Curlew Sandpiper! They settled in the far corner on the mud but were spooked by a flock of Greylag Geese arriving.


The Curlew Sandpiper has a mottled red stomach which indicated summer plumage.

A few more shots of the Black Tern who seemed to have been inspired by the Olympics practising it's balancing skills in front the hide before it flew off towards Hogarth Hide.



Next up was Rushy Hide, they were undertaking some work here so pretty quiet, the best from this hide was 2 Snipe, Green Sandpiper and Sand Martin.

We changed it up a bit and visited Holden Tower first as it was high tide, no pictures from here but a fly-past Greater Black-Backed Gull and some feeding Rook and Wigeon and lastly a hunting Kestrel who made a few unsuccessful dives but later landed on the stone hut to shelter from the gusty wind!

Robbie Garnet Hide gave us nice low-levels views of some very muddy Black-Tailed Godwit's and a single Common Sandpiper.




A quick scan in the Willow Hide plenty of young Blue Tit's and Great Tit's and a windswept Chaffinch.


Martin Smith Hide didn't disappoint this visit! A Male Kingfisher was putting on a great display on the perches in front of the Hide. Good work WWT!




After showing off in front of the camera's having some wing stretches, it was back to business. After a change of the perch, it was back catching fish!


Slightly tangled with the extra grass attached to the fish, he untangles it but drops the fish and looks slightly confused!


With not many photo opportunities from the other hides we headed back to South Lake for more unfocused shots of the Black Tern. We did manage a few in focus so here they are:



After some slightly improved images under our belt, we had a last scan in the Rushy just as we left a stunning Sparrowhawk caught our eye.



We had to visit Martin Smith Hide before we headed home. After about 5 minutes the Male Kingfisher returned, initially staying out the back, but did return to it's perches. A few more shots and we left him to it!



Another successful day at Slimbridge and great to see the continued hard work from WWT and Slimbridge is still paying off!


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