Monday, 29 June 2009

Arlesey Nature Reserve

Nice, but very warm, stroll round arlesey nature reserve and nearby fishing lakes.

Not a huge number of birds but the grey wag family are still about:at least 2 garden warblers
1 sedge warbler
moorhen feeding young:There were pleanty of butterflies about including..

Small Tortoiseshell
Red admiral
Meadow Brown
Small Skipper
Large Skipper
Painted Lady
Large white
Small White
Comma:Marbled White:Dragonflies:

Black-tailed skimmer:
Brown Hawker
Broad bodied chaser

Red eyed (these were very common):
Blue tailed
Common Blue
Azure blue
White legged damsel (i think):
Banded demoiselle:There was the smallest jack pike I have ever seen as well, about 4 inches long:Lots of large carp, stocked of course:From an area in herts I was amazed by the number of corvids at one spot (pics only showing some of the flock):All the best,


The three target species for the day were golden oriole, Stone curlew and montagu's harrier. Unfortunatly we only managed one of these but a nice day still.

First stop Lakenheath -

We heard the golden oriole but no sightings from us which was a shame. nice views of a bittern and a marsh harrier from the watch point were a consolation. Also here we watched the activities of fledgling reed warblers which was most interesting. One was begging for food from another which seemed confused by the situation:
Also here on the dragonfly front were..
Ruddy darter, either a female or a freshly emerged male (i think?):Brown hawker
Four spotted chaser

Lots of ringlet and meadow brown:Orange tip:singing male Reed bunting:From here we went to see stone curlew and had wonderful views. My first time seeing these and it was fantastic, we even saw one stone curlew chase of a 'proper' curlew - most interesting!

Whilst watching the stone curlew a small orange butterfly caught my eye and it turned out to be a small copper:We then went to try and find the monties. This turned out to be tense as surprisingly we had 5+ sightings of male marsh harriers quartering the same farm fields we were checking for monties. Having never seen them in that environment they were not expected and got our heart racing each time. It's not often that you are disapointed when a bird of prey turns out to be a marsh harrier.
2 of male marshies we seen flying towards the coast after a successful catch:We then visited RSPB tichwell :

highlights on the bird front were;

little gull:Several marsh harrier
Spotted redshank:Avocet (watch out below!!):Other highlights included

Southerrn Marsh orchid (not looking at their best now):Painted ladies (the downfall of thistles has commenced..):
The weather was fascinating with cold air coming in off the sea there was a thick mist rolling on to the reserve in patches. When it hit you it felt like aircon - very nice on such a hot day!

Here is an 'arty' shot showing the mist with startlings and avocet. I should add that there were clear blue skies above when this was taken!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

some insects and terns..

I have not had that many chances to get out recently as we are conducting the big house clean up in hope for the safe return of our deposits!
Anyway here are a few pics from recent days, nothing too exciting but I was pleased with the marbled white as it was the only shot I got of it before the camera ran out of battery!!!!! Something I have never let happen before, so was a little annoyed!

Marbled White:Comma:Black Tailed Skimmer:Common Blue Damselfly:In addition to this there were several very young grass snakes at lakeside and recently at botley wood I had lovely views of 3 white admirals but they refused to land.

Back home tomorrow for good which is both sad and exciting as I get to start earning money and buying more camera bits and bobs :-D

A few other shots of the terns from keyhaven -

Common Tern (first pic shows the shrimps they were feeding on):Little Tern (I was most pleased with the last one here):

Friday, 19 June 2009

2 firecrest and a 2.1

This morning Sam and I checked out a firecrest hotspot in the new forest and came up trumps with views of 2 after less than 20mins searching. One came very close but in bad light and the 1/15th of a second shutter speed does the bird no justice..
After this we headed to a different spot to see our friendly wood warbler which came to slightly better perches this time, but still not the shot I'm after - a third visit is needed..
Also here a stunning hornet, these really are wonderful things - even though I'm scared of them..and a common frog:In addition to this, I got the results for my biology degree today - a 2.1 which I am relieved and very happy with!

Right, back to the pub.. :-)


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Mega Post

Quite a bit to fit in this post as my mate from back home came to visit for some birding and I had a fair few pics to sort through..

Pics are from different locations over the last few days:


Here we were a little disapointed at first because after walking to hurst castle we found NO glanville fritillaries :-(, but enjoyed lovely views of a fishing sarnie tern. The bird had fishing line caught on it, but seem unaffected as it was very successful:After the walk back we were just getting into the car when I noticed an oystercatcher flying towards us and grabbed the cam to attempt a flight shot. But my attention turn to something else, a great surprise in the form of a brent goose!?! What is it doing here still? It was very tatty:Common and little terns were feeding down near the pools which provided some great photo opportunities, rubbish pic of the little tern, but I am very pleased with the common tern:And may favourite crop:Whilst walking along the sea wall we were harrassed by a lapwing and eventually realised why, she had some very developed chicks feeding in the mud near the path...
Chick:Mumsey:On the insect front there were pleanty of odonata but the wind made it tricky to photograph them, I got a record of a black tailed skimmer though:White throat finding food for young:
The New Forest (various sites)

Silver studded blue are very obvious on the heath at the mo, they are stunning:Possible white legged damselfy?:Male Keeled Skimmer:Whilst at bishops dyke we heard a massive 'splosh' and went to investigate. What we found was this poor raft spider walking sheepishly across the water having obviously been an attempted meal for something!What was it that caused the splash, well, a bloody monsterous marsh frog. After seeing it I feared for my own life - it was MASSIVE!!Here is a slightly smaller, greener one:We also saw common lizard here:
More New Forest antics:

When walking across the heath (on paths) we disturbed a male goshawk from the bracken, lovely views. When walking back later a crow flew up from the same spot so we went to investigate and found this: Don't worry mum, I washed my hands after... actually, I didn't but it was ok!

Also we enjoyed fantastic views of a singing male wood warbler, it just never used the perfect perches in the light but I got a few shots I'm happy with. A return visit is needed:A soaring buzzard seemed to enjoy flaunting the worm it had heroically tackled :-\ :
Botley Wood

Saw some stunning beautiful demoiselle:
Male:Female:One adder and many slow worms here too:There weren't many butterflies about, other than large skipper, but lots of 5 and 6 spot burnet moths:Large skipper:Been a good few days,