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Showing posts from June, 2012

Clattinger Farm

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Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th June 2012
A visit with Mark to Wiltshire Wildlife Trust's Clattinger Farm reserve for Orchids produced a Bee Orchid and a few Sothern Marsh Orchids among the 1000's of Common Spotted Orchids.Also 100's Common Blue Damselfies and a small number of Blue-tailed, Large Red-eyed and Large RedDamselflies. The only dragonfly seen though, in less than ideal conditions, was a female Black-tailed Skimmer. Over the road at Swillbrook we saw more Damselflies, but a search for Downy Emerald dragons proved fruitless, although we did see a Grass Snake near the entrance gate.
Below, a couple of butterflies photographed at Daneway Banks on Saturday, though no Large Blue, again not ideal conditions!
*Ref: 'Britain's Orchids', David Lang, WILDGuides

East Anglia Annual Excursion

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Wednesday 13th - Saturday 16th June 2012
I spent a few days camping with Mr Masters senior recently based in Norfolk at Yaxham, near East Dereham for a third year running. The weather was relatively kind, certainly better than back in Glos, with most of the rain being at night. One of the highlights was a female Black-winged Stilt at WWT Welney, where we stopped on the way. Also here my first Variable Damselfly which was a target species for the trip. The few other Odonata on the wing here included a Hairy Dragonfly. A drake Garganey was also nice and a good supporting cast included a Greenshank, Little Egrets, the ever-present Whooper Swans, Avocets, and several lively Redshanks and Lapwings.
On Thursday morning I headed for RSPB Lakenheath Fen for a very early start. A male Golden Oriole sang intermittently and I got a brief glimpse as it flew through the westernmost Poplar stand. Two Bitterns were booming and I got nice views of Bearded Tits and up to eight Marsh Harriers. Two Hobb…

Storm Petrels!

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Saturday 9th June 2012
Here are some photos of the STORM PETRELS at Severn Beach with Andy yesterday. It was difficult to estimate the numbers present, we saw groups of six and nine, and they seemed to be everywhere you scanned with the scope - maybe up to 30. This bird has eluded me so far in my birding career, so it was nice to finally see Storm Petrel, but not only that, get superb views over an extended period. We had them fly just above our heads a couple of times, and one bird continued on towards the shops - amazing. The other highlight at Severn Beach was an adult summer SABINE'S GULL.
We decided to stop off at Sharpness on the way home. Within two minutes, at 12.45pm, we had county ticked a STORM PETREL from Coastguards!

Orchids at Strawberry Banks

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Friday 1st - Monday 4th June 2012
Some photos here of Lesser ButterflyOrchids and Early Purple Orchids at Strawberry Banks, Chalford, taken over the last few days. Also a Pyramidal Orchid is just coming into flower at this site.  The only butterflies seen were 1-2 Small Heaths in poor conditions each time.
On Friday though 10 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were in Cirencester Woods near Daglingworth:

Turtle Doves at Ruardean Hill

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Saturday 2nd June 2012
It was Mark's idea to go to Ruardean Hill this morning and it paid off. Between us we had made a few trips there recently, without finding the target species in one of its last remaining county haunts, so things didn't look good. We were pleased to find however, first one, then two TURTLE DOVES singing and displaying in the Ruardean Walk area. This was very heartening, and let's hope we can stop the decline nationally and save this species from disappearing as a British breeder. Read about the RSPB's OPeration Turtle Dove here.