Showing posts from August, 2014

Marsh Sandpiper at Frampton-on-Severn

Thursday 28th - Saturday 30th August 2014
Now, I do likea nice rarity, especially a county first, so the brilliant find on Thursday by Martin of a juvenile MARSH SANDPIPER at Frampton was very welcome. Being on leave for the week, I was able to get to see the bird quite quickly; and returned for second and third helpings during its stay. It was always a bit distant so photography was a struggle, but it was a joy to watch this elegant wader feed among the Greenshanks and Ruffs.
On Sunday (31st) I visited Clevedon Court and was amazed at the number of dragonflies on the wing, mainly Migrant Hawkers, but also Common Darters and Ruddy Darters. I counted 11 Migrant Hawkers resting together at one location in the gardens and whilst it is hard to estimate the total number present it must have been in the order of 30 - 40. I also saw a Brimstone here - I saw one in my garden earlier - and several Large Whites.
And finally, a Forest Shieldbug in my garden:

Orchids and Birds

Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th August 2014
Friday I went in search of Orchids at Swift's Hill, near Slad, in particular Autumn Lady's Tresses and am grateful to the gentlemen there who pointed some out to me and also told me they were far more numerous at Breakheart Hill near Dursley. I went on to Breakheart Hill were, as the chap said, they were plentiful, and bigger (they're still a small plant) than the specimens at Swift's Hill. I also noted at least eight Chalkhill Blues here too, also a Redstart.
On Saturday a morning out with Mark produced a nice selection of birds at Walmore Common included five Whinchats, a Wheatear and c20 Yellow Wagtails, also a  Migrant Hawker dragonfly. We then went on to Crabtree Hill where the best birds were a Spotted Flycatcher, two Redstarts, two Stonechats and four Whitethroats.
I went out in search of orchids again on Sunday, this time to Edge Common (aka Rudge Hill - but I prefer to call it Edge Common) looking for Helleborines and hopi…

Norfolk and Cambridgeshire

Thursday 14th - Saturday 16th August 2014
Here are some highlights from my recent camping trip to the east with my father, staying in Yaxham, Norfolk. The weather was better than expected, with a couple of showers on Friday morning being the only daytime rain, and then dry after that withlots of sun but also a cooling breeze.
We stopped at WWT Welney on Thursday. Eleven adult Whooper Swans seems a strange sight in August, and more than I saw two years ago there in June. A juvenile Black-tailed Godwit was on Lady Fen, and five Green Sandpipers and a Common Sandpiper were on the main lagoon along with another Black-tailed Godwit. A male Ruff was at Lyle Hide with eight Snipe and a Hobby flew through.
Dragonflies at Welney included c6 each of Southern Hawkers and Migrant Hawkers, a Black-tailed Skimmer and a combined total of c30 RuddyDarters and Common Darters.
RSPB Titchwell Marsh on Saturday produced a flock of 16 Spoonbills, a wonderful sight, and also flocks of 15 Spotted Redshanks