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Showing posts from May, 2012

Rodborough Common

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Tuesday 29th May 2012
As the weather still remains warm and sunny I went out to Rodborough Common this evening to make the most of it, with cooler conditions forecast by the end of the week. The sun was sinking and throwing the S/SE slopes of Swellshill Bank and Butterrow Hill into increasing shade. There were still some butterflies on the wing though, and many many Forester Moths. Butterflies included at least four Adonis Blues, the individuals allowing close study all looking quite worn. Several Common Fragrant Orchids initially made their presence known by their strong scent, which I noticed whilst stalking an Adonis. Wonderful plants.

Great Reed Warbler

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Thursday 24th May 2012
I finally made it to Weston-super-Mare this evening to see the GREAT REED WARBLER. What a cracking bird too, massive when compared to the Reed Warblers it was occasionally interacting with. It eventually showed well higher up the reeds as the evening wore on and I managed to get some record shots.

Nightingales!

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Tuesday 22nd May 2012
I was thrilled to hear two Nightingales singingalong the canal South of The Pilot at dusk on a beautiful warm evening. This is the first record since 2010 when a single bird was present for just two days in April, and I had all but given up on them this year. Earlier at Hockley Hill a pair of Cuckoos were chasing around, and a Garden Warbler was singing in Ash Pen.

High Tide

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Sunday 20th May 2012
Two Little Terns were the highlight of this morning's high tide at Saul Warth - well spotted Rich. The small waders roosted on the mud, allowing close study, until a Hobby flushed the lot back out on the mud as the tide fell.

Wood Sand, Red-necked Phal, and Orchids

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Friday 18th May 2012
I had an early start to survey Nightingales at SO81K, or rather, to confirm what I knew already that there are none in the tetrad; still it is important information to help build up a national picture of the population trends nationally for this species. Next, Frampton, where the two drake Garganeys were still on the 100-Acre, and two broods of Mandarin were on the canal one of four, the other female had 11 ducklings.
At Slimbridge WWT, two of the Common Cranes - Great Crane Project birds who have homed back to the trust from the release site in Somerset - were feeding on The Dumbles. The Avocet nest site was deserted, but from the Holden Tower I could see an Avocet on the Top New Piece, and the other bird on the Bottom New Piece displaying protective behaviour, so hopefully a good sign that the chicks were safe. I made for Kingfisher Hide for a closer look, where I could see the female intermittently through the Juncus, but not the chicks, which would be hard to …

Rudge Hill NR

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Sunday 13th May 2012
I visited Edge Common (AKA Rudge Hill NR) late morning with Linda looking for Duke of Burgundy. It was some time before Linda at last spotted a lone individual - is that one? Yes! Nice one! Also a Green Hairstreak, seven Dingy Skippers, a Brimstone, two Green-veined Whites and three Peacocks.
On the bird front, a Tree Pipit was singing its heart out almost continually, but the best was a pair of Spotted Flycatchers, hawking flies above a gate in the wood. I was chuffed at seeing these, as my morning in the forest on Saturday had failed to produced Spot Fly, although I had got just about everything else including Firecests and Tawny Owl at Yew Tree Brake, Pied Flycatchers at Woorgreens and Nagshead, and Wood Warbler and Hawfinch at Nagshead.
Weekend garden butterflies included a Holly Blue, 3+ Green-veined Whites, a Large White and an Orange Tip. Also on the insect front a Large Red Damselfly on both days in the garden, and a Cuckoo Bee of the genus Nomadapossiblyf…

Mediterraneans at WWT

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Monday 7th May 2012
Some photos here of the Mediterranean Gulls on South Lake this morning at WWT. Two cracking second-summers and a first-winter. A Short-eared Owl put in a brief appearance from the Holden Tower. The less said about the elusive Wood Sandpiper the better.

Weekend Whinchat & Waders

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Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th May 2012
The morning high tide at Fretherne/Saul Warth on Saturday produced a large number of hirundines, mainly House Martins, plus two Swifts, and a good selection of waders feeding on the mud either side of the tide with a Bar-tailed Godwit, two Oystercatchers, 14 Grey Plovers, 35 Knot, three Whimbrels, 20 Curlews, two Turnstones, a Sanderling and c300 each Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Other migrants included two Hobbies, perched on the rocks north of Hock Ditch, 1+ Yellow Wagtails, five Wheatears including a Greenland ssp., and a Whinchat.
There was no sign of yesterday's Black-necked Grebe at CWP pit 125 this morning. A search around the lake produced a Garden Warbler, eight Reed Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, c60 Sand Martins, c20 Swallows, two House Martins, four Swifts and 16 Common Terns. Two Grey Partridges were north of Meysey Hampton.
A few garden insect photos from the weekend (I do love my 100m macro!):

Black Terns at Frampton

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Tuesday 1st May 2012
A lovely sunny evening and at Frampton four adult BLACK TERNS were at the sailing lake (Townfield Lake) (photos above and below). It was nice to finally catch up with the current tern migration.
Also c60 Sand Martins, c30 Swallows and a House Martin hawking insects over the lake and sometimes resting on nearby wires. A Cuckoo was calling in the direction of Court Lake, and three very vocal Ravens were around. Singing Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were around the lake.