Saturday, 21 May 2011

Norfolk Hawkers and Swallowtails + a waspbee to id

Just had a Norfolk Hawker in the 'garden' a nice surprise and slightly unexpected seeing as there is no water very close by. Had a day off yesterday in which I did my volunteer farmland bird survey at a farm on the river Ant, a good survey, nothing unexpected but nice to go somewhere different. On the way home I stopped off at a private site to have a look at some dragonflies and anything else that appeared.

The day list included all the regularly seen odes, firsts for the year for me included Norfolk Hawker and a few Emperors, there were stacks of Hairy, Red eyed, Variable, Blue tailed and Azure Damselflies, they seemed to be absolutely everywhere as well as 4 spotted chasers.

A few photos to show off some nice odes and Swallowtails, click to enlarge

Finally can anyone ID this Wasp, or is it some sort of nomad bee? It was on the Fen S of the river and looks like it could be interesting, well it could be.

EDIT: It is Argogorytes mystaceus

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Pink haze

As i woke up this morning I was just stretching when I recieved a text from a colleague telling me there was a rather interesting bird at Strumpshaw. I rubbed my eyes again got my things together and was off.
I was met by the sight of a Greater Flamingo right in front of Tower Hide, even though I knew it was the escape that has been roaming the countries RSPB reserves. It originated from a zoo in Hampshire so has 'migrated' a fair distance throughout its romp in the wilds.

Perhaps better than the flamingo (certainly in terms of origin) was a great drake Gargany right in the middle of the Tower hide pool, a welcome and overdue addition to my Strumpshaw list.

Also on the reserve (apparently) was a great white egret, I only saw little, also a Glossy Ibis flew over and landed in the same pool the flamingo frequented. I did not find out about that until gone five which was a bit of a let down, although I was busy so I'd have missed it anyway. I should imagine the Glossy Ibis will be at Buckenham or Cantley tomorrow if it still in the area as these seem to be the wettest places around.

And finally a couple of nice micros found in the morning sun; 1361- Pyausta aurata and 649 Esperia sulphurella

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Flycatcher Collared

After a reasonably quiet walk around Winterton on Saturday morning I thought the talked up rarity fest was not going to happen. The 2 Avocets and Spotted Redshank over Winterton were unexpected rarities, however not those that have come from the South. Sunday started at 4am for me with a sort of guided walk around Surlingham Church Marsh, a nice stroll followed by a great fry u in the pub. A Sunday afternoon around strumpshaw saw a Red Kite fly over and the first Banded Demoiselle of the year, also a few Swallowtails are on the wing now.
News of the Collared Flycatcher at Holme had me a little twichy, in fact so much so that after a quick bite I found myself on the road, I was shattered so had to think twice, but I told myself to do it or I'd regret it, what a bird too! The bird decided to dissapear for 45mins as soon as I arrived, but soon got picked much to my delight, it showed very well for at least an hour much to the delight of the observers.

After that excitement i decided to spend the last half an hour of light at Titchwell, this proved to be a good idea as I managed to get 3 Temminks Stints, Curlew Sand, Gargany at about 5m in the open (!) and a bittern booming well throughout the visit, a fitting end to a great day, I managed to get home at 10.15 after a 4am start bed was most welcome. Up at 5 on mon for a cbc and then 4 again on tuesday so as I write this I'm pretty tired....survey season is here, a time when bleary eyed wardens are easy to find!
Added to the early mornings I have been managing to get the moth trap on, results have been very good over the past few nights, particularly Saturday night with 59 species. I am identifying as many micros as I can without dissection at the moment, not taking any/many macro moth pictures this year, just micros. A few moth photos attached.

A mass emergence of Scarce Chasers on Monday is worth a mention and the very attractive immature dragonflies were all over the place.

I have also included a couple of pics of the Ruddy shelduck at Cantley. Rather oddly it seems to have managed to tame a pair of Egyptian geese, usually they wont stand for anything to be near them so thats pretty odd, whats more amazing is that they have at least 5 young. This is really odd behaviour, I have heard of Egyptian geese herding horses into the corner of a field because they had young so to find a pair of EG with young running around the feet of the RS was quite extrodinary, glad to see they can make friends after all!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Too much has happened in the past 2 weeks to put it all on here. Needless to say the migrants are in, the moths, butterflies and damselflies are out and there has been no rain all April, so much for April showers!
I have updated my stats to the right so they are looking a little more respectable. There have been quite a few early emerging moths including a poplar hawkmoth 3 weeks earlier than I had in kent last year.
Bird highlights have been few recently but local scarcities have included Strumpshaw- both godwits, LRP, Avocet and Greenshank. Buckenam and Cantley have produced 5 flyover crossbills, spotted Redshank and Ruddy Shelduck.
Odes seen so far are the usual suspects, if a little earlier than expected-
Common, Variable, Azure and Large Red damselflies, Hairy Dragonfly and 4spot chaser.

I'll try to update more frequently, ie before my camera memory card becomes full.

Some pics as always below. These include some shots of a rather plucky pair of Treecreepers who decided that the reedscreen by reception hide would provide the perfect nesting material, even though there is a vast reedbed next to the screen!