Bennerley Marsh And Cossall

September 21, 2014 in Photo Posts, Read Posts, Sightings, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

A quick look at Bennerley then on for a pleasant day spent above the valley.

Bennerley. 130 Black-headed Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Buzzard, Grey Heron, Kingfisher, 10 Goldfinch, 25 Swallow.  Butterflies. 1 Peacock, 3 Speckled Wood. Dragonflies. 5 Common Darter, 4 Migrant Hawker.  Cossall. 3 Yellowhammer, 4 Bullfinch, 25 House Sparrow, 2 Kestrel, 2 Grey Heron, Jay. 6 Swallow. Spring Wood. 145 Meadow Pipit, 1 Skylark, Kestrel, 2 Swallow. Old Moor Wood. Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel, Buzzard, Grey Heron, 14 Goldfinch, 2 Swallow. Plus: 6 Speckled Wood butterflies and 6 Migrant Hawker dragonflies.


Young Mute


Speckled Wood


Meadow Pipit


Grey Heron


Shipley View Lagoons 21/08/2014

August 21, 2014 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

A chilly day with little butterfly and dragonfly activity, but two Speckled Wood, a Green-veined and a Large White made it onto the wing, together with a single Migrant Hawker.
Five Buzzards, four Sparrowhawk and two Kestrels were using the wind for lift, as were about a hundred Swallows and House Martins. I counted thirty two Swifts making their way South in an hour – a good number for the date. In the bushes were a calling, young Chiffchaff, a very vocal Long-tailed Tit, a Goldfinch, Greenfinch, and the almost inevitable Green Woodpecker. Sitting and watching – my kind of birding!

Hex Pools 8/8/2014

August 10, 2014 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

A bit breezy and intermittent sun but pleasant to be out.
Three Dabchick, several Mallards in eclipse plumage and a single, duck Tuftie on the pools. Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff in the trees and I heard a Long-tailed Tit close by. Buzzard in the distance. At least a hundred Swallows were hawking high over the farmland. A Song Thrush was flying backwards and forwards and probably still feeding young tucked away in the bushes. Two Green Woodpeckers flew past and duly ‘yaffled’ at me!
Fewer butterflies with just two Common Blues, several Gatekeeper, a few Small White and Meadow Brown and two Small Skippers. Nearby two Speckled Wood in a woodland ride.
One or two Common Darter and Migrant Hawker – the cooler weather caused one to ‘perch up’ and I managed to get a decent picture of it using my mobile phone camera – see attached. Useful picture for ID purposes this – Migrant Hawker are neat and medium-large dragonfly of late Summer that tend to fly for long periods above head height but stay in a particular area. This individual is a male, the female being browner. Note the lack of antehumeral stripes (the longtitudinal markings on the thorax between wing base and head, typical of many Odonata), the broken, blue bands towards the abdomen tip, the complete blue band at the base of the abdomen and the small, adjacent ‘golf T’ marking – all these features distinguish it from the larger, more striking Southern Hawker, that also has a different flight behaviour. A female Southern Hawker was active close by but wasn’t so obliging for the camera.

Hex Pools 8/9/2013

September 8, 2013 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

An hour from my vantage point looking West and a walk around the pools. A change of season was in the air for sure.
5 Speckled Wood, 2 Common Blue butterflies. Migrant Hawker.
Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Chiffchaff. Raven over Mapperley.
250 House Martins overhead was quite something. Small flocks of Starlings heading East later on. Buzzards soaring in distance and 3 directly overhead. 2 Sparrowhawk soaring and hunting. Cormorant fly-past. On the pools 8 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe.

Wyver Lane 8/8/2013

August 8, 2013 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

An hour at Wyver.

A Whinchat on the thistles was great to see – my favourite summer visitor of the bird world and sadly now so uncommon. Over 70 Lapwings on the mud and in the shallows and a couple of Little Grebe, several Teal and a Gadwall out in the main pool. Twenty odd Swifts moving South at altitude and a Buzzard soaring. A pristine Brimstone butterfly was good to see as was a Comma. Brown Hawker and Migrant Hawker.


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by PaulS

Migrant Hawker. Aeshna mixta

September 18, 2012 in Biopedia, Invertebrates by PaulS

Length: 63mm

A small Hawker, not aggressive towards other individuals and occasionally seen in large feeding swarms. It flies late into the autumn and is likely to be the only Hawker found in November. The costa is brown and there is a “golf-tee” shaped, yellow mark on S2. The male looks quite dark with blue, paired spots along the abdomen. The pale yellow ante-humerals are indistinct and short and eyes are blue.
The female is brown with similar markings to the male but the spots are smaller and often yellow, occasionally blue. The ante-humerals are insignificant or absent and eyes are brownish.

A relatively new arrival to the UK. In the 1940′s this dragonfly was only a migrant but a small colony established in the South East from which individuals have spread. It can now be found well into Northern England. Numbers are boosted during the summer by migrants crossing the channel in the South East.


And Southern Hawker for comparison…

Male Migrant Hawker.

Male & Female Migrant Hawker.



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by PaulS

An Hour Around Straw’s Bridge. Well Why Wouldn’t You?

September 15, 2012 in Latest Patch Sightings by PaulS

Summer seems to be giving us one last hurrah, even my Buddleia is sprouting new flowers. The Dragonflies at Straw’s Bridge were certainly enjoying the warmth. The trail was absolutely covered in Common Darters and the Migrant Hawkers were active in large numbers. Still a few Butterflies around too enjoying a bit of warmth.

Here’s the full list of sightings… Canada Goose, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, BH Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Crow, Kestrel, Jackdaw, Wren, Great Tit, Starling, Green Woodpecker, GS Woodpecker, LT Tit, GC Grebe, Blue Tailed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Darter, Migrant Hawker, Brown Hawker, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Green Veined White.

A few shots to finish….

3rd Winter Lesser Black Backed Gull (happy to be corrected on this).

Migrant Hawkers.

Common Darter.

Migrant Hawker.

Speckled Wood.

Love amongst the Loosestrife.




Ruddy Good Shots !

August 9, 2012 in Photo Posts, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

Small Skipper




Common-blue Damselfly


Ruddy Darter


Ruddy Darter


Migrant Hawker

Snakes Alive !

August 8, 2012 in Read Posts, Sightings, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley


Finally “unblocked” Grass Snake after a few years not seeing any, so’ that was my day sorted !

Not many birds today, although I did come across a group of sibling Whitethroat’s,  but plenty of insects about, starting with a Harlequin Ladybird and a Small Tortoiseshell around the garden, then it was insects all the way, Holly and Common Blue butterflies and Emperor. Brown and Migrant Hawker dragonflies, plus of course a very live Grass Snake.

Bennerley. 3 Grey Heron, 25 Black-headed Gull, 3 Swallow, 3 Greenfinch, Bullfinch. Chat corner. 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Whitethroat.

Butterflies. Small Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet. Dragonflies. Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Emperor, Common Darter, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly. Plus. Grass Snake.

The Keeper Of The Cossall Gate

July 15, 2012 in Read Posts, Sightings, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

Erewash Valley


This particular walk is becoming a bit of a Sunday habit, possibly because there is little disturbance and people are few and far between and of course there are Yellow Hammers ! not to mention Linnets and Skylarks !

I love birding on this sort of farmland but I very seldom bump into a fellow birder, I wonder why ? its a valley and a flight-path with excellent views and a lot of sky and a fair bit to see on the ground too, like my first Gate Keeper butterfly and first Migrant Hawker dragonfly, a tad early methinks, but first of the season the season anyway.

I wonder if Broxtowe Council know that red-listed [birds in decline] do relatively well in this area, have they seen the flower, the Butterfly and the view shown in this post ? This valley took eons to get the way it is, the coal company say they  can return it to the way it was in five years ! I don’t think so ! My sincere condolences go to the residents of this very special area.


Erewash Valley

Bennerley. 2 Grey Heron, Lapwing, 12 Swift, 30 Swallow, 20 Sand Martin, Green Woodpecker, Song Thrush. Nottingham Canal, Cossall. 2 Grey Heron, Sparrow Hawk, 3 Buzzard, 10 Swift, 7 Swallow, Chiffchaff, 3 Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat,   Meadow Pipit, 4 Yellow Hammer, 4 Linnet, 3 Skylark.

Butterflies. Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Gate Keeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet. Damselflies. Common Blue, Red-eyed, Blue-tailed. Dragonflies. Common Darter, Migrant Hawker.



Rose Bay Willow Herb