Showing posts from May, 2014

Dragons and Spotted Flies

Saturday 17th - Sunday 18th May 2014
A catch up from the weekend is due. Saturday's highlights were Firecrests in the forest plus lots of dragonflies emerging and recently emerged at Woorgreens, with several Broad-bodied Chasers and a few Four-spotted Chasers.
Sunday at Hidcote Manor Garden produced at least two Spotted Flycatchers around the Lily Pond area, also a couple of pairs of mating Azure Dameselflies I couldn't see any Great Crested Newts in the pond, but there were several Smooth Newts and also some Acilius sp. aquatic beetle larvae. Also the magnificent Handkerchief Tree, Davidia involucrata, was in full flower, near the shop.

Great Reed Warbler at WWT

Wednesday 14th May 2014
It was take two at WWT Slimbridge this morning (the Bonaparte's took two goes too!) but the GREAT REED WARBLER was much more obliging foe me this morning. Family commitments limited my time yesterday evening and I had to leave long before it eventually showed. Arriving not long after 8 this morning, it was out in the open at Robbie Garden hide and showed well as it foraged for insects. What a cracking bird to see and hear as it sang and called.

Bonaparte's at WWT

Monday 5th May 2014
It didn't start well. I arrived at c 9.18am South Lake hide seconds, approximately ten, before it flew off. Gutted. The Little Gull was there again; and a first-summer Mediterranean Gull. I got some consolation in a male Garganey on the Bottom New Piece, a Greenshank on Top New Piece, and a Little Ringed Plover on the Rushy. Still no more news. The BONAPARTE'S GULL waited until I had given up, and was in my way home, before turning back up on South Lake. Quick 'U' turn. Got past a tractor convoy on the A38, an oncoming caravan on Kingston Road, long queue at WWT reception, and crowded boardwalk. Finally, arrived at the hide, and it was still there. Phew! A couple of record shots here of it asleep. It stayed asleep like this for some time, popping it's head up very briefly, then back to sleep. It then flew off again. And relax! The phone-scoped photo below gives a size comparison with the nearby Black-headed Gulls (very impressed with the camera …

Butterflies at Edge

Sunday 4th May 2014
Butterflies on the wing at Edge Common (a.k.a. Rudge Hill) yesterday included c5 Duke of Burgundy, four Green Hairstreak and three Dingy Skipper, plus several Orange Tips and a Speckled Wood; also several Scarlet Tiger larvae. Note: Natural England are surveying the butterflies here and many of the Dukes are being painted with small coloured spots,in case you see some strange markings on them.
Also some Red Mason Bees and St Mark's Flies.
At Highnam Court in the afternoon the lovely sound of House Martins and Swallows hawking insects overhead against the blue sky added to the summery feel of the day. Several Large Red Damselflies were around the lakes.
A very vocal male Cuckoo was calling from the wood for much of the time, a first for me at this site.
Saturday I caught up with the Spoonbill at WWT and saw my first Swifts of the year distantly from Middle Point in the direction of the 100 acre; In the afternoon I visited RSPB Nagshead with Linda where birds i…