Wednesday, 31 July 2013

I was out at 06:00hrs this morning, hoping to get some wildlife watching in before the rain arrived, I did, but I only got a little over an hour before a heavy drizzle moved across the area on a strong breeze.

I was all out to do a bit of Sky watching from my seat at Migrant alley, trying desperately to add a Cormorant to the months list, but despite an hour sitting and scanning none flew over, this will be the first months list ever without a Cormorant on it  :-(

A few groups of HERRING GULLS flew west, the largest of those containing 12 birds, 2 BLACK HEADED GULLS also flew over, and at least 2 of the KESTREL young were seen practicing their flying skills, with the adult male nearby on the Greenhouse Grounds, here, the family of WHITETHROATS ''churred'' at my presence as I walked past, and a male BLACKCAP 'ticked' furiously from the large hedge behind my seat, on further investigation i saw two young blackcaps in with it, as well as a CHIFFCHAFF. Looking out on the sheep pasture, 65 CANADA GEESE and just 2 GREYLAG GEESE were seen, but during my sky watch another 100+ Greylags flew over the Greenhouses.

After a spell at home, waiting for the weather to clear, I headed off out again to the Scrubby woods, by the time I arrived the sun had broken through, and I was immediately greeted with the sound of a ''purring'' TURTLE DOVE (68), At last, but where have they been, and why haven't I heard them sing all month ? I watched it sitting on the power lines that go over the Scrubby woods, until I got distracted by a LONG TAILED TIT flock, another species that has not been around much this month, with them were GREAT TITS, BLUE TITS, a family of TREECREEPERS and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, but the bonus was seeing a WILLOW WARBLER (69) among them, a lovely fresh, bright yellow one, taking the months list to 69 species and so equaling the best ever July tally, now only if that Cormorant had turned up!  :-)

As the sun came out more, the insects took over my attention, and I saw my first Holly Blue Butterfly for the month, as well as at least 4 Purple Hairstreaks, a couple got with easy photographic range, but they were always directly above me and mostly obscured. I did get a couple of Common Darter Photo's again, and also got some images of a Southern Hawker, but the wind made for a difficult job, as did the tangle of vegetation it was sitting in.

I might just do a bit of evening sky watching if I get time later, you never know I might just get that new species for the month to set the July record  ;-)  I cant be disappointed with the months total though, its 6 more than last July, and the average for the previous 5 July's is 64 .6 species, so I easily surpassed that.  Just one new species was added to the 12 year combined July tally, that was the Yellow Wagtail, taking it to 89 species, which is surprisingly one less than the December combined list  :-)
Southern Hawker, Not best effort, the wind was bowing it around  ;-)
I managed to get close to it, but then I could only see it's head clearly
one gust of wind too many and it was off! Opportunity gone!
This Common darter was in a more sheltered Spot.
Just need a Hawker to sit like that for me now  :-)
Small Copper butterfly, seen at the Greenhouse Grounds on my way home.


Marc Heath said...

Still waiting for my first Southern Hawker. Nicely captured though Warren.

Alan Pavey said...

Greta shots again Mate, the bird scene there sounds very similar to here :-)

Warren Baker said...

I suffered for that hawker, I was stung by nettles, scratched by Brambles, and stabbed by thorns that had fallen in my boots!

Warren Baker said...

Alan, I saw you had a Wilow warbler there too mate :-)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
That wind is a right pain for insect shots as you say .
Well done with the WW and TD .
Snap with the Holly Blue .

Marianne said...

Look out - the hawkers are coming! Great photos as always. Well done on equaling your July record :)