Thursday, 30 July 2015

After the rain the waders come in

After the woods headed to Snettisham as with the tide due in at lunchtime know there a chance of seeing a Broad-billed Sandpiper which had been seen recently. As the luck was was with had some decent views thanks to some kind birders letting me look through their scope with the bird feeding with a group of Dunlin showing its eye stripe well. Then headed around the reserve as high tide was at its peak lots of Common and Sandwich terns were feeding and a big flock of Knots seen circling in the distance. On the scrape despite it been a low high tide a good number of Black-tailed Godwits were seen in their fine summer plumage along with Redshanks, Oystercatcher, Dunlins and more Knots. Then walked back along the beach where a Oystercatcher was still nesting right by the path but not bothered by the walkers passing right next to her

Common Tern family showing the different ages

Waders on the scrape

Nesting oystercatcher

Then headed to Titchwell where on route a few Hares Grey and Red-legged Partridges were seen including a nice family group of 5 Grey Partridges. Decided to do the quiet coastal walk down to the beach at Gypsy lane which was quite productive with a Barn Owl hunting in the afternoon and quite a few ducks mounting including a pair of Red-crested Pochard. Walking back to the car found a nice family of Chiff-chaffs with 3 young been fed and a Purple Hairstreak was seen as well along with a nice wren.

One of the Adult Chiff-chaffs
The young Chiff-chaffs

Posing Wren
Then headed to the main reserve where i did the autumn which was quite productive with a good number of Warblers with Blackcap, Whitethroat, Cetti's, Reed, Sedge warblers around along with a family group of Bearded Tits. Then got to the viewing area with a selection of waterfowl moulting with a few Ruff and a lone Common Sandpiper feeding on the mini-scrape when across the field another Barn Owl flew out giving some great views.

Hunting Barn Owl




Headed to main scrape where a good number of waders where feeding with over 40 Ruff feeding in the Black-tailed Godwits and Redshanks where a Little Gull Showed well for a micro second before been chased off by one of the Black-headed gulls. Also around a hunting pair of Marsh Harrier which distured the wader flock but allowed a good views of the Ringed Plover and Spotted Redshank which had been feeding further back.

Ruff in the evening light

Monday, 27 July 2015

Butterflies at Fermyn Woods

Last week had a nice trip to Fermyn Woods the main aim was to see Purple Emperors started out well with quite a few White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillaries along with a mass number of Whites and Gatekeepers with a few Souther Hawkers Dragonflies hunting.

Silver-washed Fritillary feeding with the Hoverflies


White Admiral sunbathing

Half way down the ride came to a nice oak where a few Purple Hairstreaks where flying about in the treetops when a Purple Emperor flew across and landed high up before chasing off another one out of sight. After a little while a White-letter Hairstreak flew down from a tree to the left and briefly landed down on the ground.

White letter hairstreak
White-letter Hairstreak
Then walked into the the next wood where had a selction of different species with a Holy Blue, Painted lady, Small Tortoiseshell and a few Fresh Peacock before walking back where i came across an unusually looking White Admiral with a Aberration which after a bit of research turned out to be a Obliterae Aberration.

Obliterae Aberration White Admiral



Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Ringing at Hillfield

At the weekend my local RSPB group had arranged a morning ringing session at Hillfield Reservoir. After arriving in some light rain we where shown a wader which had just been find which was a Common Sandpiper which had come with the rain.

Common Sandpiper


We then walked around the bank of the reservoir where a big flock of mounlting Canada Geese with a lone Barnacle Goose were out on the water and two young kestrel were around. We then headed to the ringing station where a few birds where getting ringed mainly a few Reed Warbler which are quite popular at this time of year and a Wren.

Reed Warbler in the hand
Wren which weighted just over 9 grams
Half the group then walked around been shows the nets and had a look over the reservoir where a good number of Pochard where with over 100 birds on the water and a few Great-Crested Grebe and Warblers around the edge.

Back at the ringing table after the next round quite a few birds where coming in with Sedge Warblers (non breeders here), Blackcap, and Whitethroat where found after the rounds been done.

Young Sedge Warbler

Young Blackcap

Young Whitethroat


An unforgettable morning ended with a Young Goldfinch , Blue Tit and a Woodpigon before having some nice views of a Black-necked grebe.

Young Blue Tit
Young Goldfinch

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Woodland Butterflies at Bricket Wood

With the weather been quite changeable recently last week spent at nice morning down at Bricket Wood Common. First walked around the common lots of butterflies out on the wing with a good selection of Marbled Whites, Skippers and Gatekeeper which has just started to appear but the hightlight was a single Painted Lady which was feeding on the common which despite seem quite a few on the coast is my first local one of the year.

Feeding Painted Lady



Then headed into the Wood where the Ringlets and Whites where everywhere with a good number of White Admirals and Silver-Washed Fritillaries mainly male down the ride but great to see them doing well again.

White Admiral
Hanging White Admiral
Feeding Silver-Washed Fritillaries


Green-veined White
Samll White

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Summers day at Rainham marshes

With a nice summer day at the weekend decided to head down to Rainham Marshes but due to the reserve not opening till 9:30 which slipped my mind got there a bit early but as there a fair bit of rain the night before the local finches were coming down to a water puddle in the car park giving some nice views.

Female Linnet was the first to come down

Then a selection of Goldfinches came down




Then had a walk along the seawall pretty quiet but a Whitethroat was singing and a few Sedge and Reed Warblers in the reeds. Then got into the main reserve where first sight was a group of 7 Littles Egrets feeding with a lone Redshank a group of Black-tailed Godwits and a big Shelduck family with 9 fledging not bad for the edge of london.

Then walked around the trail with the warblers in full song and a few Little Grebes in the channel including a nice young one.

Young Little Grebe
Then walked around the Dragonfly pool where there were quite a few Bearded Tits around even with the wind blowing with at least 6 present with some birds still feeding young.

Bearded Tit



Then around the pool had a Emperor Dragonfly lying eggs and my first Ruddy Darter of the year.

Emperor Dragonfly egg lying

Ruddy Darter