Monday 27th August 2012

   North Norfolk coast today.

   Starting at Cley Marshes. Common & Green Sandpipers, Black & Bar-tailed Godwits and a Marsh Harrier were the best of an otherwise quiet visit.

   We headed for Titchwell, after a quick visit to Salthouse, sadly very quiet too. Got as far as the Island hide, which was where all the activity seemed to be. From here there were at least 20 Ruff, along with 50-60 Dunlin, all fairly close. A fair bit more distant, in fact probably as far away from this hide as you can get, were 10+ Spoonbills (a mixture odf adults & juveniles). A flock of 50+ Golden Plover flew in and landed on the freshmarsh. Redshank, Avocet, Oystercatcher, Snipe and Black-tailed Godwits completed the waders. Sadly, the weather had changed today and was rather dull, so started getting dark rather early today, and that was that!

Ruff (Juvenile Male)
Ruff (Juvenile Female & Juvenile Male in background)

Sunday 26th August 2012

    Now for some rare Dragons............hopefully anyway.

Holly Blue
   Wat Tyler country park in Essex, was the first stop, looking for Southern Migrant Hawker. They had been seen around the pools behind the new toilet block, we found the site fairly easily, but no sign sadly. Although we did have Migrant Hawker. Also there were 2 Holly Blues around the pools.

Migrant Hawker

  Next stop was Alton Water in Suffolk, for what should be the easier of the two rare dragons i was after. Willow Emerald was the target. They are only 'easier' because they have been around the area for the last few years and seem to have set up a decent colony there.
   Luckily, this time i was right. We found some with 50 yards of the car park. On the return to the car park, we found them all along the edge of the path back!

Willow Emerald (Male)
Willow Emerald (Female)

Saturday 25th August 2012

   Somerset Levels today, Dragonflies mainly, plus whatever else turns up...........
Started at Westhay. Had Common & Ruddy Darters, Emperor, Common & Blue-tailed damselfly, Migrant & Brown Hawker. The last one was what i was after, i have been trying to photograph this species for a while now, without success. Got really close today, but failed again......

Brown Hawker
   We moved onto Ashcott Corner, there were 2 Brown Hawkers right by the car park, so i waited. One landed about a foot away from me. Wow! But, into the sun, on the other side of a nettle stem. It was eating a Hoverfly of some sort. Take some pix then try for better, i thought. Got the one opposite. But, it flew off when i tried to get better.

   Then i returned back to the car park, a bit gutted about not getting those better shots...again! In the car park there was a very brave little Harvest Mouse (i think), which was probably too brave for its own good really.. it will probably get run over if it does this too often.
Harvest Mouse

Thursday 23rd August 2012

    Had a text at work today, telling me about a new colony of Red-veined Darters locally. I went there after work. Well worth the visit. There must of been at least 50, all immatures. But, still really nice to see.

Red-veined Darter (Immature Male)
Red-veined Darter (Immature Female)

Saturday 18th August 2012

   I had left it as long as we could, but the draw of the Black-crowned Night Heron at Pennington Marshes in Hampshire, finally got the better of me. Especially as my niece had said this was one of the bird she wanted to see. A Red Kite at the M4/A34 junction near Chieveley services was a good start. We got to Pennington, parked and went straight to the footpath, from here the Heron had been seen for quite a while, on & off. No sign, but it had been seen earlier in the day. At least its still about. We went off to the marshes to see what else we could find. Not a bad haul, as it turns out. We had at least 6 Wood Sandpipers, one of each of Green & Common Sandpipers, some Dunlin, Snipe, Redshank and a couple of Ruff too. Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Buzzard were seen. At the end of the track, the Solent, there were quite a few Turnstones and Common Terns. A group of Black-headed Gulls on one of the pools held one adult winter Med Gull too. Then back to see the Heron, but no sign again, what a pain......

Sunday 5th August 2012

   A return to Bentley Wood, in search of Purple Emperors again. I did manage to see a couple this time, high in the tree tops again though. Other Butterflies seen were:
Large & Small Skipper, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Silver-washed Fritillary, Brimstone & White Admiral.

   Then again onto the New Forest for Dragonflies. Crockford stream was our first stop, there were Small Red Damselfly, Southern Damselfly, Keeled Skimmer and Golden-ringed Dragonfly. Also there we had Silver-washed Fritillary and Silver-studded Blue.

Southern Damselfly (Female)
Southern Damselfly (Male)

Small Red Damselfly (Male)
   Mill Lawn Brook was the last stop before heading home, hoping to find Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly. Sadly, no sign, but i did have Small Red Damselfly again.