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by PaulS

A Gathering Of Dragonflies.

August 19, 2012 in Latest Sightings by PaulS

Had a walk over Ockbrook way this afternoon and came across a sight I’ve never seen before. In the corner of a field (I’ll mark it on the map) were at least 18 Hawker Dragonflies (mixture of Emerald and Southern I think) all flying around together. There was a small patch of Thistle on one side of the path and bramble on the other. The field in this corner is unused but there is wheat further up. A really unusual sight and one I wondered if anyone else had come across.

Something else unexpected to. The allotments just outside Ockbrook were having an open day and we were invited in and got free, yes FREE tea and home made (totally delicious) cake. A rare day indeed.

Its the Pits – A Sunday Visit to North Notts

October 4, 2011 in ChrisLuv's Birding Blog by ChrisLuv

Sunday was spent in the company of Dave and Jim, the much anticipated visit to Spurn put off in the hope of future better migrant weather.
Disappointed, and having lost an hours birding, I set of round the southern flashes of the reserve. Hares were numerous, I counted 10 at least, and I battled the light in trying to grab a decent photo, I probably have some I’d have posted a few months ago but in the presence of such amazing photographers I think I’d better hold off.First though I spent dawn til 9am at Erewash Meadows; first up the “coal board” hill chasing a decent sunrise shot. Hedges and a lack of vantage points really ruined what could have been a great shot – I really need to work out some decent local sites for Sunrise and Sunset.

The reported Water Rails reported by DS on the DWT site weren’t seen unfortunately, and while the regular bird species were all present there wasn’t much in the way of migrants.

The main flashes were all dry after the recent weather, except Aldercar and Railway, and they had attracted ducks, but nothing too unusual; Mallard, Shoveler and Teal.

I had a walk up to Big Marsh, but again there wasn’t much in the way of surprises – though 4 Pied and 3 Grey Wag’s were a pleasant sight, frolicking in the fields and by the canals. A mushroom on the way provided a photo opportunity.

After Erewash Meadows I picked up the boys and off we went, first to Langford Lowfields. The route we took took us down a very bumpy track to the Trent, and from there we took a path into the reserve. Common Darter, Red Admiral, Bush Crickets (heard not seen) and Hawker dragonflies were all seen. A Little Egret (?) caused a brief panic as Jim started us checking for Great Egret, the feet did have me thinking and size is difficult to judge but with no other reports from the area and Little seen a few times over the day then the balance of opinion (on my part at least) stays with my first impression.

Hawker Dragonflies are always a problem for me, I’ve never really made the effort to get to grips with them, but one individual perched up nicely to allow an id (Migrant Hawker).

Two Common Darter “in Cop” also caused us a bit of a discussion, the female appears so blue underneath the male it made us think for a while we’d found a new species!

The reserve in all is a fantastic place, and has a lot of potential (and proven pedigree with breeding Avocets and regular Marsh Harrier), the only shame is its size and the difficulty of finding viewing points. My advice to anyone taking a first visit would be to join one the guided walks, they will give you wider access. It does look like there’s lots of work being done to open it up wider for Joe Public. Look forward to a return visit.

Collingham and Besthorpe were similar sites, though less impressive. Besthorpe though appears to have work being done in the North section and so only one unidentified wader which broke into cover, was the only bird we saw there. Collingham had a Little Egret, several mixed Gulls and a smattering of Wildfowl. The South of Besthorpe had more to offer (not just a refreshing coffee from Jims stove) especially the 100+ Cormorants coming into roost.

A quick stop at Spalford Warren showed its potential, but light was fading so we didn’t stick around.

I’ll leave you with a few insects from the garden over recent weeks.