Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Second half of the month

Birdwise the last couple of weeks have been very slow going round the patch with the only new bird for the year noted being a Garden Warbler on Beeston Common. Other notable sightings include the Sedge Warbler at East Runton continuing to hold territory in a dry area of bramble scrub for over two weeks and a couple of singing Reed Warblers also present in the adjacent area.

A few Red Kites have been noted passing over including a group of 3, a Dunlin was on the muddy edge of the reedbed at Sidestrand so hopefully a sign of things to come this autumn if the water level stays low, and the month ended with the very pleasing sight of a Mandarin and her 8 ducklings on Felbrigg Lake.

With their early emergence this year the Butterflies and Dragonflies around the patch are keeping the interest levels up and a few of my recent photos are included in the posts below.

Some recent Dragonfly Pictures

Having just switched over from the old editor in blogger which seems to have died, I'm still trying to get the hang of the new 'improved' version especially with trying to get the right size of photos so the image quality viewable on the screen isn't compromised which at present it is. I'll be experimenting a bit, changing the design and screen size etc, but until I get it right clicking on the largest photos below will expand them to their full size and improve the quality of the image too in the process. (Remember to use the back button on your browser to 'close' the image)

Broad-bodied Chasers at Felbrigg including one freshly emerged from its exuvia:

Freshly emerged Black-tailed Skimmer at Felbrigg:

Another recent emergee, this time a Keeled Skimmer on Holt Lowes:

And yet another, a Four-spotted Chaser at Beeston Common including a shot of its exuvia:

A few Damselflies - First a couple of Blue-tailed showing the different colour forms:

Large Reds

and finally a close-up of a female Red-eyed Damselfly in tandem with a male:

Recent Butterfly etc Pics

Some recent pics of Butterflies and other insects taken in Felbrigg Park.

Brown Argus

Green-veined Whites

Orange Tip

Small Copper

Cinnabar Moth


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Out Clubbing

To add to my Dragonfly list, I took a trip down to Goring to see the Common Clubtails which can be seen emerging on the concrete footings of the railway bridge over the Thames there, and I certainly wasn't disappointed with 5 seen emerging, including a couple that I witnessed the nymphs climbing up out of the water and then was treated to watch the whole emergence process taking place over the ensuing couple of hours, with a selection of pics showing the emergence below.

I had hoped to see a mature one there but failed to locate one, but a check of the river further downstream at Pangbourne produced the goods with this one found in the bankside vegetation and which subsequently happily crawled on to my fingers. Note that the eyes on Clubtails are separate unlike the eyes of the other dragonflies occurring in the UK. By clicking on the two images below you'll get a larger sized version with better image quality.

Next port of call was a nearby site which holds very small numbers of Marsh Fritillaries, which after a lot of searching finally gave themselves up with c4 seen.

An added bonus came in the shape of good numbers of Small Blues, which unlike the ones seen a few weeks ago happily proved to be more photogenic.

My first Large Skippers of the year were also noted, along with a few Brown Argus, Dingy Skippers, Small Heaths and this Peacock.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Catfield Fen

Took a trip down to Catfield Fen today in the hope of seeing some Hairy Dragonflies and Variable Damselflies and I wasn't disappointed with good numbers of both present, with the former being particularly photogenic with this pair in tandem, and close-ups of female (middle) and male (bottom).

A few Four-spotted Chasers were also present.

As well as the Variables (pictured below), damselflies were in good numbers with Large Reds, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed also being seen.

On the butterfly front 3 separate sightings of Swallowtails were had, but none posed for a photo unlike the Brimstone below.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Spotted Flycatcher

A walk round Felbrigg today produced the first Spotted Flycatcher for the year with one singing away from the trees at the back of the lake, virtually a year to the day that one arrived there last year.

A Reed Warbler was singing away from the ditch that runs to the south of the lake, the first time I have recorded one there, two drake Mandarins flew over, and 1+Cuckoos were still calling from the trees. Also despite the cool and showery weather a few Broad-bodied Chasers were still patrolling the stream through the meadow to the north of the lake.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A very cute Fox cub!

A walk round Sidestrand produced a nice male Whinchat up by the reedbed although it was quickly chased off by the Reed Warbler that has obviously now set up territory there, and 3 Common Sandpipers were on the reservoir. Nearby up to 3 Wall butterflies were seen along the clifftop, which were nice to see on the patch.

However the undoubted highlight of the day was when I was out walking later and I quite by chance stumbled upon a Foxes den and even better a very cute cub was peering out of it and allowed me to get a few pics before disappearing back inside.