Monday, 11 June 2012

Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th June

Lapwing Chick (c) Jason Coppock

Coot Attack (c) P.Barker

Pochard Drake (c) P.Barker

Blackcap (c) P.Barker

Garden Warbler (c) A. Last

The weekend offered a brief respite from the summer monsoons with Sunday morning being the sunniest and calmest that I can remember for over a month. Things have started to settle into a quieter summer pattern, there are still birds singing but many are now feeding young and foraging busily. There were still two Grasshopper Warblers reeling in the carpark field but with the foliage now so dense it was impossible to spot them. The Garden Warblers and Blackcaps in the Roman Road gave me yet another opportunity to separate their songs and I know that I will have it fixed by the time that they stop singing, and next season have to learn it all over again! On Saturday Quail were calling from both the Closes and from the field just to the South of the Closes suggesting at least two birds, however we failed to hear them on Sunday. A Tawny Owl was seen on Saturday in the oaks along the Roman Road, an area where they have frequently been heard calling and where three juveniles were seen last year. Little Ringed Plovers were again on the Big Otmoor scrapes, as were two Dunlin. At least eight very small Lapwing chicks were around the scrapes and there were calling and agitated Redshanks all over Big Otmoor that were clearly monitoring chicks in the grass.
In the calm sunshine on Sunday there were many damselflies along the bridle way of several different species, offering an id challenge, certainly some were Red eyed Damselflies but there may be other kinds that also have red eyes.....its time to get the Lewington out again. I can however confirm at least three Downy Emerald Dragonflies in the area to the east of the pump house for the third year running along with a Hairy and many Four Spotted Chasers. There were in fact lots of different and interesting invertebrates to be seen in amongst the lush vegetation and nectaring on the flowers, it is that time of year when looking carefully, closely and and on a different scale can provide fascination, variety and beauty.

Honey bee on a Dogrose (c) P. Barker

Large Red Damselflies ??(c) P. Barker
Longhorned Beetle sp. (c) Andy Last

Beauty in miniature. (c) P.Barker

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