Saturday, 28 May 2016

Spring Butterflies in Bentley wood

Been meaning to go down to Bentley Woods for many years so with with a week off this week headed down on monday. What you notice when you get out the car is the wood full of birdsong with Willow Warblers all around. Had a nice walk around the main woods where there a few of the commoner Butterflies on the wing with good numbers of the darker form of the Specked Wood,Orange Tip, Brimstones and Speckled Yellow Moths. On the edge of the woods found my first Broad-bodied Chaser of the year.

Broad-bodied Chaser
Then walked into the main heather where I came across a few Pearl-bordered Fritillaries at least 7 but could have easily been more. Lucky enough with the cloud that one allowed me some close views allowing me to see the fine detail of it.

Resting Pearl-bordered Fritillary





As I was walking back to to car came across a nice pair of Marsh Fritillaries which were mating in the same field.

Mating Marsh Fritillaries


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The east coast

With the a south east wind blowing heading out with Dan to Frampton Marsh with the plan to head to Titchwell later.

Frampton started off well with the new pools by the carpark allowed us to see our first Garganey of the new plus a few Ruff and Greenshank, a lone Common Sandpiper with Swifts and Swallows overhead. Then headed up to the seawall where there were plenty of singing Sedge Warblers and a few Black-tailed Godwits and Redshanks by the lagoons pools.

Singing Sedge Warbler


Walked along the seawall which was quite productive with flocks of Brent Geese still around and at least four Whimbrels feeding out on the wash with at least one Spotted Redshank and a lone curlew in with the common Redshanks and a distance hare was seen.

Whimbrel in flight
Then walked around to the hides where there quite a few waders with Little Ringed Plovers showing really well with a few Ruff, Dunlin, Oystercatcher and Ringed plovers nearby. Out on the water there was a mix of ducks with a pair of Garganey and a Pair of Wigeon in with Shovelers, Gadwall and Tufted Ducks and in with the breeding colney of Black-head Gulls a lone Mediterranean Gull was seen.

Little Ringed Plover


Mediterranean Gull in flight


After a bit of lunch walked down the hedgerow near the flooded field and saw Lesser and Common Whitethroat plus Chiff-chaff and Blackcap in song. While on the waters edge Cetti's Warbler were in song while we had some nice views of a group of four Wood Sandpipers and the Greenshank and Ruff.

Wood Sandpiper through one of the gaps in the hedge


Then headed to Titchwell via the Barns where we had some decent views in one of the fields of a group of Dotterel.

At Titchwell we had some nice views of a Temminck's Stint, Grey Plover, Avocets and a Little Stint which took a bit of work to nail the ID and a distance booming Bittern was heard.

Then bumped into the biking birder a great bloke to spent some time with and while with him added Sandwich and Little Tern out on the beach while some nice views of some waders on the beach with the summer plumage Sanderlings a highlight. Heading back to the carpark Cuckoo was heard a Marsh Harrier were seen hunting over the reeds and a Spotted Flycatcher seen near the visitor centre

Sanderling feeding on the Beach

Spotted Flycatcher up in the trees

Monday, 2 May 2016

Grasshopper Warbler at Hatfield Aerodrome

On the 10th April I manged to find a Grasshopper Warbler at Hatfield Aerodrome though just reeling and not showing but went back a few days later and was showing quite well.

Singing Grasshopper Warbler








Also around were a few Lesser Whitethroats a good number around this year

Lesser Whitethroat at the top of a tree


Willow Warblers and Chiff-chaffs were also quite active with signs of the Willow Warbler nesting which is good as they don't seem a common breeder in herts anymore.

Willow Warbler collecting nesting material


Willow Warbler on his perch
Chiff-Chaff in the hawthorns