Saturday, 16 July 2016

Another very reasonable Summers day, with light winds, patchy cloud and temperatures up to 22C. very nice  :-)

I spent the first part  of the morning sky watching from my seat over at Migrant Alley, although not before I had first walked a circuit of the sheep pasture and horse paddocks there. My slow amble round the fence lines was punctuated with plenty of stops, so as to check the posts for a possible early 'Chat' species, or maybe a Yellow Wagtail or two, but none were forthcoming, still a bit early yet, the best I could find were the four CANADA GEESE that were grazing in with the sheep! ROOKS, CARRION CROWS, JACKDAWS, WOODPIGEONS, the odd PIED WAGTAIL a few GOLDFINCHS, plus a couple of LINNETS were also seen.

Taking up my seat I scanned the sky for the next two hours, always hoping for one of those rare moments when something unexpected flies over, but again, today was not to be the day, although having said that I did watch a RED KITE (59) drift over from the south before back tracking again, an increasingly common spectacle now and an addition to the July bird species list.

A tractor was harrowing the small field at the Greenhouse Grounds that used to accommodate the  line of ancient Plum trees, these have been felled and the surrounding unimproved grassland has now been turned to fine tilth. Nature always takes advantage of what it can though, and from my seat I watched a dozen HERRING GULLS, 5 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS and a pair of BLACK HEADED GULLS drop in to pick over the turned ground, these were joined by a brace of STOCK DOVES and 3 Pied wagtails.

The KESTREL pair were observed on the Greenhouses, along with at least one of their young, plus I saw the BUZZARD pair up over the Wet Woods and could hear their youngster calling. The only other sighting of note during my sky watch were a few SWIFTS moving through and the local SWALLOWS feeding.

Later in the morning I walked the edge of the Wet Woods in search of Butterflies and Dragonflies, I did see a few of each species, Meadow Browns were the most numerous butterflies seen, with a few Large Whites, Small Whites, Large and Small Skippers, Red Admirals, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, Commas, and singles of Purple Hairstreak, Gatekeeper and Holly Blue, the latter being the first this month. As for Dragons it was pretty disappointing, although I did find a few White-legged Damselflies, a Beautiful Demoiselle, a Brown Hawker, an Emperor Dragonfly and a couple of Ruddy Darters. The best place for Odonata is the Scrubby Woods, but it's now not possible to get in there, such has been the growth of vegetation during this wet summer!

Photo opportunities were few and those that arose always had a reason for me not to like my results, here's a couple I did keep though - just about  :-)

Beautiful Demoiselle

White-legged Damselfly

1 comment:

Marc Heath said...

A couple of corking shots Warren. Like you, I was on the Demoiselle hunt today....... at 4am I should say.