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Showing posts from September, 2016

More Crake and a Hen Harrier

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Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th September 2016
I was back at WWT on Saturday planning to go on the morning safari. With that cancelled due to the wind, I decided to get another fill of the friendly neighbourhood Spotted Crake still performing along the South Finger Walkway on the small dragonfly pond.
I had tried at Frampton earlier for the Hen Harrier without joy, so I made a quick return visit on Sunday morning to Splatt Bridge. This visit was more productive with good views of the ring-tail Hen hunting over the 100 acre and foreshore, and even managed to get a distant record shot.

Spotted Crake at WWT

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Thursday 22nd September 2016
A Spotted Crake has been showing well on the small dragonfly pond overlooked by the Van de Bovenkamp hide.

Shiny-vented Sharp-tail Bee

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Saturday 17th - Sunday 18th September 2016
I managed to identify an unusual bee in the garden at the weekend as a female Shiny-vented Sharp-tail Bee, Coelioxys inermis, after careful study and taking photographs at different angles. Using Falk and Lewington's 'Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland', and Rowson and Pavett's 'A Visual Guide for the Identification of British Coelioxys Bees' I was able to get the ID to species level. Sharp-tail Bees are host parasites, the female using its sharp 'tail' to pierce the cells of Megachile Leaf-cutter Bees to lay its eggs in them.
And some recent spiders, first a Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus, on the outside of the house:
And then inside the house, this Noble False Widow Spider, Steadota nobilis, a native of the Canary Islands and Madeira, has set up home in the utility room:

Baird's Sandpiper at Upton Warren

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Sunday 11th September 2016
Sunday morning saw an impromptu trip to Upton Warren with Andy and Mark. Following early news that a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was still present from yesterday, the straightforward 45 minute trip up the M5 and an obliging bird meant that it wasn't long before we had successfully twitched this smart Yankee wader. Other interest included a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper and a Ruff.

Shags at Sharpness

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Saturday 3rd September 2016
A juvenile Shag was still present at the SARA pool, Sharpness, first thing this morning. Found by Andy Jordan, it was joined on the pool by another Shag just as I was about to leave. Six Cormorants were also noted in the area.