Monday, 5 August 2013

Saturday and Sunday 3rd and 4th August

Juvenile Willow Warbler

Juvenile Great Spot

 Juvenile Jay above pics (c) Bark

Juvenile Kestrel (c) Pat Galka

Juvenile Green Woodpecker (c) Pat Galka

A quiet weekend, typical of the midsummer doldrums but not without interest if you were prepared to take the time to look carefully.
On Sunday morning along the bridleway by standing and watching in just one place for a quarter of an hour or so we saw at least twelve different bird species moving about a clearing in a loose feeding party. They included several brightly coloured juvenile Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, both kinds of Whitethroat, Reed and Sedge Warblers and many yellowish, recently fledged, Blue and Great Tits. Long-tailed Tits zipped about the bushes and hung upside down from the umbrella heads of cow parsley, as they gleaned tiny insects from them. Meanwhile a Tree Creeper worked the bark of the blackthorns and in a patch of groundsel in the clearing, both Bullfinches and Goldfinches could be seen munching on the seed heads. In addition to this feeding party we also saw juvenile Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers and a noisy family group of Jays flew along the oaks beside the path.
A couple of Green Sandpipers fed along the margins of the scrape in front of the hide and on Saturday morning a Greenshank was seen in the same place. Several Snipe were seen flying over Greenaways and then dropping to disappear into the rank vegetation. The Turtle Doves are still present and are still purring, but much more intermittently than in the preceding weeks and I have a feeling that they may soon move on. Last year they seemed to leave at about the same time as the Swifts.
The Lizard City continues to add interest at the first screen and visitors are enjoying the opportunity to see what is usually an uncommon and reclusive species. Dragonflies are at their most abundant with the largest numbers being Common and Ruddy Darters. Emerald Damselflies could be found in the long grass but are fiendishly difficult to spot when they keep still. Careful study of bramble patches showed what vital food sources these plants are to all manner of insects. On them we found nectaring Purple Hairstreaks in several locations, as well other more common species of butterfly. Small Coppers were also seen and the first of the latest crop of Common Blues were on the wing along the visitor trail towards the second screen.
All of this goes to show that there is no such thing as a dull summer weekend......whatever the weather does


Purple Hairstreak

Common Blue

Emerald Damselflies

Small Copper  All Bug Pics (c) Bark

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