Saturday, 11 July 2015

Back on patch today, in some sunshine and warm temperatures  :-)

A three hour visit today produced very little indeed birdwise, the early circuit of the paddocks and pasture at Migrant Alley being particularly quiet, one paddock had a flock of 50-60 STARLINGS on it, while the sheep pasture was full of ROOKS and JACKDAWS, plus the odd CARRION CROW among them. A 40 minute sky watch from my seat yielded flyovers from 2, 4 and 1 HERRING GULLS, 1 BLACK HEADED GULL, 2 GREY HERONS and my first HOUSE MARTIN (58) of the month, oh how this once common bird has declined here!

The two young KESTRELS were sat up on one of the Greenhouses, where the last of the scrub and brambles have been removed, along with whatever nested or lived there. There's no excuse for that kind of blatant destruction, but then farmers are a law unto themselves  :-(

I made trip over to the lakes, where 24 CANADA GEESE were on the main lake ( including the immature birds) plus 1 GREYLAG GOOSE and 4 MALLARDS, the other two water bodies were home to just a couple of MOORHEN families.

A look through the adjacent Scrubby Woods was a bit better for birdlife, two SONGTHRUSHES sang, as did BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, GOLDCREST, DUNNOCK, WREN and TREECREEPER. STOCK DOVE, NUTHATCHES and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS called and the calls of BULLFINCH were also heard, but no young have been found for this species this year yet.

As I sat and listened, I caught sight of a large Dragonfly flying over the brambles, I took it to be a Southern Hawker first off, but when I saw it alight in some nettles, my investigations found it to be a fantastic GOLDEN RINGED DRAGONFLY!!  My first (and probably last!) record of this Dragonfly that I have recorded here at Pittswood. Where it came from is anyone's guess, as there is certainly no habitat for it's life cycle here. This is my 20th species of Odonata for my patch, what a find!

I was lucky enough to get some decent images of it too   :-)

My first Golden Ringed Dragonfly at Pittswood!

The wings look quite fresh

I believe this species of Dragonfly is the longest of all our British species


Marc Heath said...

Super find, super shots Warren, what a beauty. Perhaps it will hang around!!

Wilma said...

What a beautiful creature! And great images of it, too.

Warren Baker said...

I suspect it will clear off to more suitable habitat quite quickly unfortunately :-(

Warren Baker said...

They don't come much more beautiful and impressive as this one :-)

Noushka said...

Wonderful to him here too :)
And so much details in your close-ups, congratulations for your work, Warren :)

Derek Faulkner said...

House Martins are just as rare here Warren, I'd probably struggle to find one breeding pair on the whole of Sheppey.

Phil said...

Hi Warren.
Forgot to tell you I sent one of our West Farleigh Golden-ringed dragons over to Pittswood the other day........ :-)
Great find and pictures, well done!

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Awesome GWD pics Warren, how far away is the nearest breeding site?

House Martins used to be regular in small numbers throughout the summer here but now not seen one over garden since 2011 - what have we done?????
On a lighter note my second record of swifts at Base camp today was of three one of which zoomed straight into last years nest site - I can't have missed seeing them for a month or more can I?



Warren Baker said...

I reckon the nearest breeders are over at West Farliegh a few KM to the SW of me.

Warren Baker said...

I put it down to the lack of insects......Have you read the book ''The Moth Snowstorm'' ? if not give it go, a very interesting read.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Phil
Thanks for that mate :-) any other gems coming my way ???

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Well done with the Golden-ringed Dragonfly .
Open woodland streams can support this species , so the River Bourne or similar would be ideal habitat , especially if the water level is low during the breeding season .
Your specimen is a male , the female being slightly bigger , but the Emperor is still the largest of all our dragonflies .

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Greenie,
I suppose the river Bourne is a possibility for where this individual came from, never seen any along there before.

I'll just about concede that the Emperor is our biggest Dragonfly, even if it is only by a mm :-)

Johnnykinson said...

One heck of a find the Golden-ringed. Bet you couldn't believe it at first ! Great images of it also.

Pete Woodruff said...

'I was lucky enough to get some decent images of it too' can say that gain....Excellent.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend Warren.

Mike H said...

Lovely to see the GRD Warren one has been seen along Dene Park Woods recently not that far from your patch I believe ?