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Showing posts from June, 2010

Scarce Chaser

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Saturday 26th June 2010

A SCARCE CHASER(above) was the highlight of the afternoon Land Rover safari at Slimbridge WWT today. This was a slightly tatty though not fully mature male, and was seen over the salt marsh near the sea wall. Another probable was seen a bit further towards Middle point. In 29oC temperatures it was very quiet on the bird front so the main interest was the Odonata. Other dragonflies seen were Brown Hawker, Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmer and Ruddy Darter plus numerous Azure Damselflies. Shoals of spawning Roach in the entrance rhyne were also impressive.

East Anglia Excursion

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Thursday 10th - Saturday 12th June 2010

Swallowtail, How Hill

I spent a few days in East Anglia last week, with two nights camping at Yaxham, near Dereham. The location of the campsite was chosen for being roughly equidistant between Lakenheath Fen RSPB reserve, and the Norfolk Broads; the trip being primarily to see Golden Oriole and Swallowtail respectively. In terms of those two species, my success rate was 75% - i.e. I didn't actually see an Oriole, they were just too elusive, but I did hear one in full song, that was magical in itself. The Swallowtail butterflies were superb and much more cooperative. Here are the highlights of the trip:

Thursday 10th
Mainly cloudy and breezy.
Lakenheath Fen RSPB Reserve
c2:30pm-5:00pm
6+ Marsh Harriers, two Bitterns - one booming and another in flight, three Cuckoos, c15 Reed Warblers, three Sedge Warblers, a Cett's Warbler, five Reed Buntings and, eventually, 1-2 GOLDEN ORIOLES calling from the western Poplar plantation but not seen.

Poplar pla…

Barbury Castle Butterflies

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Sunday 13th June 2010

I've been away in East Anglia for a few days, and had a great time; I'll put together some photos and words on that trip soon. In the meantime, a trip to Barbury Castle, Wiltshire, today for butterflies in the fine sunny weather produced two Marsh Fritillaries(above), plus many Adonis Blues(below and bottom), Common Blues, andLarge Skippers, a few Brown Argus and a few Forester moths.

Welsh Rarities

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Saturday 5th June 2010

I went for the Marmora's Warbler on Blorenge, near Abergavenny, with Jake and Andy today (record shot above). What a cracking bird, and great hearing it sing too. Whinchats(below), Tree Pipits and three Cuckoos provided entertainment in the lulls.


We then stopped off at Wentwood on the way back for the Iberian Chiffchaff at Cadira Beeches. It also showed nicely and sang pretty much constantly; I made a recording of the distinctive song which you can hear below:

Lime Hawk Moth

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Friday 4th June 2010

One of three Lime Hawk Moths in my garden yesterday.