Monday, 15 July 2013

I was out at 05:00hrs this morning, hoping to get round for a full patch walk before the heat of the day sent everything into cover.

Even at 08:00hrs the sun was quite hot, and things were already quietening down, but I stayed out til 11:00hrs, which was exhausting! I managed to locate 46 species in the 6 hours, though nothing new for the months list was found, nor was there any new species to add to the years successfully bred list.

Early on in the walk the local families of SWALLOWS and STARLINGS had gathered on and over the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, where at least 75 ROOKS lined the fences, already looking hot, you got to feel for them with their black plumage!

The Bean fields, hedgerows and ditches on the arable part of my patch had a couple of WHITETHROAT families, and one each of singing YELLOWHAMMER, BLACKCAP and CHIFFCHAFF, overhead, LESSER BLACK BACKED and HERRING GULL went over, and a SPARROWHAWK whizzed past low and menacing.

It was a bit cooler under the canopy of the Wet Woods, but the Mosquitoes make it necessary to shorten any stay here, they eat you alive! Just GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, MOORHEN, and a party of BLUE TITS, GREAT TITS, LONG TAILED TITS plus a TREECREEPER moved through, feeding as they went, then moving eventually out into the Small Holding, where I watched a Great Tit still feeding young in a nest box - maybe a second brood ?

By the time I reached the Scrubby Woods it was too hot to stand out in the direct sunlight, so I watched and waited from the shade of an Oak, where I added GOLDREST, NUTHATCH, JAY, COAL TIT and a singing SONGTHRUSH to my list, I was scanning all the boughs of the other oak tress around as well, and found what I was looking for when at least 3 Purple Hairstreaks were watched, the first this year, just too high for a photo though  :-(

I had a quick look on the lakes and saw singles of MALLARD, CANADA GOOSE and GREY HERON, as well as the COOT family. A scan of the Lillies on the private Ornamental Lake gave me my first Red Eyed Damselflies of the year, too far out to photograph unfortunately.

More heat tomorrow, so i'll have to get out early again!

Not much for the camera this morning, just these mating Azure damselflies, and a Comma, which I got to close to and chopped off an antennae! The rest of the shots are from my garden, where I had a Chiffchaff visit again  ;-)
Mating Azures
Mating Azures
Blue Tit, well on the way to becoming adult
Goldfinch, Juv
Nuthatch, looking a bit worn out after its breeding exertions!


Marc Heath said...

Nice to know the Purple Hairsteaks are out. I took another load of shots of the Norfolk Hawkers tonight. Wife's birthday today so probably be banned from computer tonight.

Warren Baker said...

I find it quite difficult to get PH photo's, I'll give it another go tomorrow though.

Happy birthday to your wife mate, like mine I suppose she has to suffer our obssesions :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Not doing too well with the WLHs could do with a scaffold tower or a cherry picker for the pesky high level things!

Many happy returns to Mrs B from a bizarre;y misty and almost rainy Blackpool



Mike H said...

Glad to see you have Purple Hairstreak Warren. There were none at Dene Park Woods today. Did get Purple Emporer though! Think I saw one of your juvenile Kestrel on a telephone wire as I drove back down Ashes Lane today.

Warren Baker said...

I might just prefer a Purple Emperor!

The Hairy Birder said...

That's an early start Warren, mind you it is a cracking time of day! Excellent shots as always.