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by PaulS

A Day In Norfolk

August 31, 2011 in Holiday and Trip Reports by PaulS

A week last Monday I took the day of work and headed over to Norfolk. I first went to Narborough railway cutting, a NWT reserve especially good for butterflies then headed over to Holt Country Park on the hunt for a couple of species of butterflies and dragonflies. The day certainly didn’t disappoint. Plenty around at both venues. I met a young lady at Narborough who was using butterflies to study climate change. We both commented on the fact the plants are going over very quickly this year and she said her count of butterflies had been low. She was focusing on the blues, Common, Brown Argus and Silver Studded. Anyway, We did see a few blues along with a few others and I got some shots. Here’s a collection of some of the more interesting ones. Hope you enjoy them.

Gatekeeper complete with Mite. Apparently the Mites don’t really bother the butterflies they attach to.

Death by lethal injection. A Horse Fly had caught a Hoverfly. Pretty gruesome really but just shows nature at work. Survival of the fittest and all that.

I’m no expert but I reckon these might be Roesel’s Bush Crickets. I’m happy to be corrected on this.

Just a Brimstone, but I do like them.

So that was Narborough. Now for a few from Holt.

As you can see these Graylings are very well camouflaged and you have to flush one and follow it to get anything like a decent shot. They just blend in so well. One of the target species for here though so well pleased with these. Another target was a Keeled Skimmer and I was lucky enough to get one as well.

Keeled Skimmer.

A few Ruddy Darters around too. Very similar to Common Darters but a more flattened club like end to the tail. Quite happy to settle on your clothes too. The last shot is a bit crap but it shows the club tail.

This Gatekeeper was looking very faded. A sign Summer is coming to an end?

Finally, I found more Bush Crickets.

I think these might be Long Winged Cone Heads but again I’m happy to be corrected.

So that’s it. I was a bit smelly after wandering around in the bog at Holt and a bit knackered but it was an awesome day.

Hope you enjoy the shots.

Cheers

Paul

 

Mapperley and Shipley

August 31, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

A walk around Mapperley Reservoir and the Overflow (Wood) produced a few good sightings. Then home via Shipley/Nutbrook.

Four Great Spotted Woodpecker, juv. Chiffchaff, party of Long-tailed Tits. On the water four, young Great Crested Grebe – this year the young seem to be late but successful, locally. Nineteen Tufties. Buzzard overhead. Jay. Heard a Kingfisher.

Off Slack Lane (track from Mapperley) a Migrant Hawker, another at Mapperley Brook, and dozens of House Martins and Swallows over the farmland to the South. Kestrel over Manners. Two Green Woodpeckers at the settlement lagoons and a Little Grebe – this is a very good spot for them. Family party of Bullfinch – I think this species has  double brooded this year and last.

Very few butterflies – Peacock and Large White, and an unidentified species flitting around the tree tops at the western end of Mapperley Reservoir could have  been a Hairstreak.

I left plenty of Blackberries….

Jim

 

 

Shipley beasts

August 27, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Took a walk around most of the new Shipley NR.

No joy, again, with Dingy Skipper. Several Small Heath and two Brown Argus were good to see, however, as were a few Common Blues.

A Common Blue Damselfly carrying a substantial, brown moth was a first for me.

Four Kestrel, a party of Mistle Thrush, soaring Buzzard, two Great Crested Grebe and a lake full of Coot.

And the best half pound of Blackberries money can’t buy!

Jim

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to North Erewash Meadows

August 26, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

This evenings dog walk had a few of  species that I  have missed recently namely Blue,Great tit ,Chaffinch and Sparrowhawk

perhaps the rain has freshened things up or kept folks in so its been quiter for a couple of days

Some of the Blue Tits were very small do they have broods this late ?

Kestrel,Sparrowhawk

Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Lapwing,  Mute Swan, Gadwell,Grey Heron

Greylag

Pheasant
Crow,Magpie
Blackbird, Robin, Longtailed Tit,  Blue Tit, Great Tit,  House Sparrow,    Chaffinch,  Starling,  Collared Dove, Swallow,House Martin
Black Headed Gull, Common Tern

and a few Wood Pigeon

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to North Erewash Meadows

August 24, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Lapwing,  Mute Swan, Gadwell,Grey Heron Snipe

Greylag

Pheasant
Crow
Longtailed Tit,   House Sparrow,  Whitethroat, Starling, Goldfinch, Collared Dove, Swallow, Swift,House Martin,Goldfinch
and a few Wood Pigeon

Stanton Butterflies

August 24, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Today at the ‘Stanton Butterfly Site’ it was hot!

Lots of second generation Common Blues, Small Heath and a few Brown Argus. No Dingy Skipper unfortunately (this is a major, local site for them). A few very washed out Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Large Whites completed the line-up.

Southern Hawkers were buzzing me and Common Darters were everywhere. On the pond just to the NorthWest several Red-eyed Damselflies were sunning themselves on the lily pads.

The site is adjacent to the Nutbrook Trail, best accessed from where Merlin Way meets Crompton Road.

Jim

Hobby over Shipley

August 24, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

On Monday, two Hobbies were co-operatively hunting down hirundines over Shipley, more or less over Shipley Hill.

Superb flyers, the turn of speed was remarkable.

Good time of year to see Hobby – they come out of their ‘elusive’ mode! Plenty of scanning required.

Jim

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to North Erewash Meadows

August 23, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Lapwing,  Mute Swan, Greylag,Grey Heron,Cormarant
Common Tern,Black Headed Gull
Pheasant
Crow,Magpie
Blackbird,  Longtailed Tit,  Blue Tit, Great Tit,  House Sparrow, Whitethroat, Starling, Goldfinch, Collared Dove, Swallow, House Martin,Kestrel,Green Woodpecker,Greenfinch,Bullfinch
and a few Wood Pigeon

Lincs Trip

August 23, 2011 in ChrisLuv's Birding Blog, Holiday and Trip Reports by ChrisLuv

A trip out up to Lincs on Sunday with Jim and Dave was a much needed visit out, and with a couple of life “ticks” a very worthwhile one.

The day started at 7.15am and, desperate to get birding, I managed to get us to Frampton Marsg by 8.50am. This reserve never fails to disappoint and Sunday was no different; Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Ruff, Little Egrets by the dozen, Black Tailed Godwits, Ringed Plover, Yellow Wagtails, plus the usual suspects all were showing well. A few young Reed Warblers confused for a little while, as did the odd pipit and Reed Bunting – definitely a case of getting the eye back in after the summer with some of these birds. The two below are Meadow Pipits.

A female Pintail from the 360 degree hide was a bonus, and, as the others set out for the salt marsh and high tide, I picked out a Sandpiper for Jim and I to mull over. He confirmed a Wood Sandpiper and a much needed life tick for me, one that was long overdue. We found an Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar on the path on the way out of the hide, a species conspicuous by its absence in my garden this year.

We arrived at the sea wall to hear we’d just missed a perched “peregrine” that turned into a Hobby once the heat haze had gone. Later Jim picked it up as it bombed past us on the way back to the reserve, earlier we’d watched a raptor terrorizing flocks of waders in the distance – the flocks rising and falling in such massive groups was amazing to watch and very mesmorising. A Whinchat on the way to the visitors centre was another good bird. No photos due to the distance but here’s a Cormorant instead.

We left Frampton, and Jim’s brother Garry who had joined us earlier, and set off to Gib Point after lunch to meet Jim’s friend Jayne. We headed to the hides and then the sea but nothing much on offer there, my luck at Gib is very poor.

With the sun up, and weather red hot, we decided to try for some butterflies – Brown Hairstreaks at their stronghold in Chambers Wood near Lincoln being the target species. On the way we stopped at Hagnaby Lock, a small hide over looked the water and several Green Sandpiper and a couple of Ruff were wandering round, 12 Herons were also on the waters edge. Jim picked out a pair of Hobby over the trees and also four Turtle Doves in a bare tree to our right, a first view of this species for me after last year’s “purring” bird hidden in the trees (again with Jim) at Erewash Meadows.

The Common Darter like to perch on the wooden railings on the way to the hide at Hagnaby and I spent some time photographing them and a blow-fly – the blow-fly was still enough to allow me to take several shots I could focus stack in a trial of CS5 – wow results, just need to start saving….

The clouds were forming by the time we got to Chambers Wood, the light was fading and we had a fruitless search for the butterflies for half an hour or so. The Migrant Hawkers were out in force though, as many as I’ve ever seen in one place by a long, long way. One Hairstreak did show briefly in the top of an oak as we left and I imagine it was a Purple Hairstreak given its location, though hard to say. Jayne returned next morning and got both species – if anyone is visiting there then I can pass on directions to the spot.

I’ll leave you with a shot of this spider. Thanks for reading.

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to North Erewash Meadows

August 22, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Lapwing,  Mute Swan, Grey Heron

Greylag

Pheasant
Crow,Magpie
Blackbird, Robin, Longtailed Tit,  Blue Tit, Great Tit,  House Sparrow,   Whitethroat, Starling, Goldfinch, Collared Dove, Swallow,House Martin,Greenfinch
and a few Wood Pigeon