Wild Common Crane at WWT

Thursday 12th September 2013
Common Crane - 2nd c.y. bird, no rings and with complete wings
A wild Common Crane turned up today among the collection cranes at WWT Slimbridge, later moving to the Top New Piece. Following a mad dash after work, I managed to get to Zeiss Hide in time to see it for a long overdue county tick. I didn't have time to take much else in, but saw a Buff-tip caterpillar on Willow in the grounds on the way back to the centre.
Buff-tip moth caterpillar, WWT
And now for a bit of a catchup. On 25th August I went to the Brown Hairstreak open day at Grafton Wood, Worcestershire. The Brown Hairstreaks showed nicely with several females seen along a long section of Blackthorn hedge, egg-laying. I made full use of the photo-opportunity:
This female has just laid an egg - top centre in the photo
The western perimeter ride at Grafton Wood, with the Blackthorn hedge on the left
On 28th August, it was pretty quiet at WWT. I walked down to Middle Point and the tide was already up, but with very still conditions I saw nothing of note there bird-wise apart from a Reed Warbler. THere were however two Clouded Yellows nectaring on the Sea Aster. One of them was extremely tatty. It came very close. The pristine one didn't.
I spotted this Red Underwing moth in Axebridge, Somerset, on 30th August, not showing its red underwings here:
On 3rd September, a Mother of Pearl moth was nectaring on Rudbeckia flowers. On 4th, flyover Yellow Wagtail was a garden tick.
Mother of Pearl
I returned to WWT for the opportunity to walk to the Dumbles edge at high tide, laid on by James. The waders included a nice Curlew Sandpiper, plus a Golden Plover and four Sanderlings being the other notables among the Dunlin and Ringed Plover. A Garden Warbler was with a mixed warbler/tit flock near the Holden Tower, and at South Finger a distant Whinchat was a year tick.
Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, WWT
Me, left, on The Dumbles with a few other guys - pic. James Lees


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