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Showing posts from July, 2012

Dowitcher, Dragons, Damsels and a Purple Heron

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Friday 27th - Sunday 29th July 2012
I made a third visit to WWT Slimbridge for the LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER on Friday afternoon, hoping to see it more active than it was last Sunday and on Tuesday evening. It was asleep again most of the time, but thankfully did perk up for a few minutes, long enough to get some half-decent photos at least.
On Saturday, news of a PURPLE HERON had me heading for Coombe Hill Meadows. By the time I was able to get there after earlier duties, it had become quite elusive. Although mainly concealed, somewhat distantly amongst vegetation, it did make regular short flights providing nice views of this juvenile bird.
Below is a few photos from a sensitive forest site, where I connected with two male RED-VEINED DARTERS along with an Emporer, a Four-spotted Chaser and several Broad-bodied Chasers and Black-tailed Skimmers. Nearby I found a Golden-ringed Dragonfly.
This morning I almost managed to dodge the showers at Laymoor Quag, near Cinderford in the Forest of …

Oversley Wood

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Sunday 22nd July 2012
Mark and I had an excellent time at Oversley Wood, Warwickshire, this morninglooking for butterflies. In all we had one PURPLE EMPEROR, six White Admirals, 4+ Purple Hairstreaks, 10+ Silver-washed Fritillaries, a Marbled White, a Large Skipper, a Small Skipper, three Red Admirals, two Green-veined Whites, 1+ Small Whites, 1+ Large Whites, three Meadow Browns and many many Ringlets. There were also a few hawker dragonflies; one I saw perched was a Southern Hawker.
I was glad I also got to to see the WWT Slimbridge LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER on South Lake first thing, as I had been unable to get there yesterday - a very nice county tick.

Dorset

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Friday 13th - Sunday 15th July 2012
I spent a long weekend in Dorset with Linda staying in Swanage, and although the weather wasn't brilliant, we did get some reasonably bright, even sunny spells. On Friday we visited Lulworth Cove. The well worn popular path to Durdle Dor produced just one butterfly in rather breezy conditions, but it was a good one - a LULWORTH SKIPPER. Clinging on to a thistle flower, it didn't want to go anywhere and was still there on the return walk! I also year-ticked Stonechat here too.
On Saturday we took the Swanage Railway to Corfe Castle where a Spotted Flycatcher was hawking insects near the path between the village and the visitor centre. At the centre car park, the sun came out for 10 minutes, just long enough to get the butterflies going including another three Lulworth Skippers, also a Small Skipper, eight Marbled Whites, and Ringlets and Meadow Browns.
On a lovely evening I spent an hour at Durlston Head where a juvenile Peregrine was perched…

Cleeve Hill

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Saturday 7th July 2012
I tried Wardens Wood first off this morning for Gropper, without success, but Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Tree Pipit, Yellowhammer and Linnet were all in fine song. This was just a stop-off on the way to the northern end of Cleeve Common looking for Musk Orchids, which I located above the wash-pool. I am grateful to Ian Ralphs for his directions as these small orchids with their yellow-green flowers are easy to overlook. Once I got my eye in I found a good number here and also near the top of the opposite spur. The only butterflies were two Ringlets and two Small Heaths.