Thursday, 21 May 2015

A much improved day, weatherwise, being quite warm this morning under a clear blue sky, it soon clouded over by midday however, just leaving the odd sunny spell to be enjoyed.

With most of the migrant species having arrived on my patch now and with not much chance of adding more species to the month or year lists, (unless something flies over) it's time to start looking for evidence of successful breeding, and for me that means finding recently fledged young. I spent some time in the wooded areas of my patch this morning, where I did find a couple of fledgling DUNNOCKS, ROBINS and BLACKBIRDS, but I was more excited to find a family of recently fledged TREECREEPERS, they were in a tight fist quite high up in an Oak tree, where I watched them for some while as the adults came in to feed them every few minutes. Unfortunately I only had my macro lens with me, but I took a few record shots for the blog.

Ive had to crop the images hard, but you can make out the 5 fledglings  :-)

One of the adults came in with food and the fledglings split up to fight over it

Oh for my 400mm lens! Here the adult Treecreeper brought in a large caterpillar, I even caught one of the young as it took off in this shot

Mind you if had not brought my macro lens I would not of got some nice shots of the Broad Bodied Chaser that was about ( i'll post those images on a later post) or the fantastic Downy ( or maybe Brilliant) Emerald Dragonfly that I found, either of these is a real scarce Odonata species for my patch (and elsewhere) so I was pleased to get stung, scratched and cut to get these shots :-)

My reason for thinking this may be the rarer Brilliant Emerald, is because of the Yellow mark you can see in front of the eye, this is situated in a 'u' shape around the the frons (face) which only the Brilliant Emerald has.

Ive sent some images to the British Dragonfly Society for their opinion

I really wanted a shot from the top angle, but as I moved to get one, the Dragon was off and I lost it in the trees  :-(

A bit later in the morning I walked over to my seat at Migrant Alley for a sky watch, hoping to add something to the May list, which at 64 is the joint 10th lowest of the previous 13 years. It proved a disappointing watch though, with just a few HERRING GULLS a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, a dozen SWIFTS and the 3 regular Raptor species of BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL. The LITTLE OWL was also seen sitting on one of the Greenhouses, maybe it has young to feed and is forced to hunt in the day to find enough food?


Pj1973 said...

Great Treecreeper pics. One of my favourite special birds
No Spot Flys yet?

Warren Baker said...

Hi PJ,
No, not sign of a Spotfly yet. I was down to my last pair last year, so maybe ive lost them now :-(

Mike Gould said...

Some nice shots of the treecreepers and interesting odonata photos.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Definite Brilliant Emerald for my money . Great find .
Love the Treecreeper fledglings , great shots , well done .

Marc Heath said...

Yep, as mentioned earlier to you Warren, the frons say it all. A very nice set, well done on a great find.

Warren Baker said...

Cheers guys,
I'll certainly be out in the woods tomorrow to try and relocate it :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Warren....I have to refer to the Treecreeper family images as 'brilliant'. Right place, right time, simply wonderful, I'd have screamed with joy at the sight of this little lot, well done.

Can't you tell I'm excited!!

Pete Woodruff said...

By the way Warren....

I'm not known as an authority on such matters - 'cos I 'aint - but did you know the Brilliant Emerald is considered to be a nationally rare species, and is also considered to be endangered in the UK.

Mike H said...

Some nice shots Warren and definitely a Brilliant in my book. Well found, have only ever seen these at Bedgebury .

Derek Faulkner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stephen Mills said...

Once again some cracking shots Warren and a brilliant find!

Warren Baker said...

Yea I looked up the Brilliant Emerald, a very scarce Dragon indeed, well chuffed with that. for the Treecreeper shots....I er...deleted them, I didn't think them any good, should I rescue them from the recycle bin????

Warren Baker said...

If the Great Bustard and brilliant Emerald were not just once in a fifteen year occurrence, then yes, it would be a great patch, it is in fact thanks to a great piece of privately owned woodland (owned by lovely people), that the farmers cant get to, that keeps the dragons and Treecreepers going here.