Friday 30th May 2014

   Been itching all week to go back for the Savi's, so its Friday, lets go........

   Got to the area, to meet 2 friends, one had just arrived, the had been there for 2 hours or so! Brian had been there to see the bird come right out into the open, and was showing off his photos! Lucky git. The bird was singing again, but it had gone back to hiding again.

Savi's Warbler
   In the end, i was there on my own, until nearly dark, but for the last hour or so, the bird showed well for me, on my own. What a privilege.

Savi's Warbler

Savi's Warbler
Savi's Warbler

Reed Bunting

   Oh yeah, and a nice full Summer plumaged Reed Bunting too.

Monday 26th May 2014

   After the Great Reed Warbler, this time a Savi's Warbler at Newport Wetlands, in Gwent. Well worth a visit i thought. The bird was singing most of my time there, and showing well on & off, but never coming out fully for photos, but still better & closer than the Great Reed! Nice bird though, will be back, if it stays, I'm sure....

Savi's Warbler
Savi's Warbler

Savi's Warbler

Saturday 24th May 2014

   A report of another Great Reed Warbler, this time at Chew Valley lake, lakeside at Herriotts bridge. So thats where we went, obviously....

Great Reed Warbler
   Sadly the bird bird stayed quite deep in the reeds, only coming up now and again, to sing. But always distant....

   Oh well, at least i saw this one, more than i did with the Slimbridge bird!!!

Wednesday 21st May 2014

   Decided to go North today after work, into Gloucestershire. Swifts Hill, also known as Elliot's Hiull, to be precise. This time looking for Frog Orchid. After a fruitless, or flowerless really, search of the lower slopes, near the road, i went to the top of the hill. I bumped into a chap who was also looking for Orchids, so we split up and promised to shout if we found anything.

Frog Orchid
   Which I'm glad we did, because he found the only one we saw!!! Nothing to look at really, especially as the flowers were still in bud, but still a new Orchid for me, and him!

   During the rest of my search, i managed to find quite a few Butterflies, and another lifer, this time a Moth, Lace Border. Not bad considering this was only my second visit, this was the second new Moth i had found here!!!

Small Blue (Male)

Brown Argus (Female)

Lace Border

Lace Border

Tuesday 20th May 2014

  Another, after work this time, trip to my Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly site, to see if i could any more aurantica form females. But, with no luck...did have some Males & Females this time though. I think you will agree, they are completely different to the aurantica form, from Sunday!!!

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Male)
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Immature Male)

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Female)

Sunday 18th May 2014

  After a trip out & about, i got a phone call, from Simon Mackie, to tell me he had found an aurantica form Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, at my NEW site!! One i had been hoping for, had searched quite a few times, in the New Forest, for this form, with no luck. But, would i be able to relocate it.

   This form is the immature form of the female, which is completely different from its usual look. Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly is a Blue & Black Damselfly, but this form is almost fluorescent Orange!

   After directions and a drive there, i had a quick look in the usual places, and then to where Simon had said. The first damselfly, that flew up from beneath my feet, was very bright, so i followed it. Unbelievably it was exactly what i was looking for. The photos below show this critter, i think you will agree, its worth looking for!

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (f. aurantica)
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (f. aurantica)

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (f. aurantica)

Saturday 17th May 2014

Green Hairstreak (Thurlbear Quarrylands)
   Trip around the levels didn't really produce too much....a few nice Butterflies & Moths, but not too many Birds...i like the Pochard photo, a common Duck i know, but just like it, for some reason?

   What do you guys think??

Grizzled Skipper (Thurlbear Quarrylands)
Pyrausta nigrata (Thurlbear Quarrylands)

Pyrausta purpalis (Thurlbear Quarrylands)
Great White Egret (Summer plumage-HamWalls RSPB)

Common Pochard (Male-HamWalls RSPB)

Wednesday 14th May 2014

   After last nights Great Reed Warbler at Slimbridge WWT, a long day waiting at work was over, and a rush to Slimbridge was on. The bird had shown well this morning, but had gone missing this afternoon, but it had done this before. Sadly, there was never another sign of it....bugger!!

    So, here are just a couple of shots, taken during the search.....

Long-tailed Tit (Juvenile)

Sunday 11th May 2014

    A quick visit to a well known, but secret site, if that makes any sense??? More Orchids, both firsts for me too!

    Fly Orchid, and a rare hybrid Bee-Fly Orchid. Beauties, i hope you agree?

Fly Orchid
Fly Orchid

Bee-Fly Orchid

Bee-Fly Orchid

Thursday 8th - Saturday 10th May 2014

   The start of a few days in Norfolk, looking for Two-barred Crossbill, Temmincks Stint and anything else that decides to show up.

Grey Partridge (Male-Choseley)
   Our time was spent at 2 main sites, Cley Marshes and Lynford Arboretum, with trips to Titchwell and anywhere between the three! The few good birds we saw, and i photographed are below:

Red-legged Partridge (Choseley)

Common Crossbill (Male-Lynford)
Common Crossbill (Female-Lynford)
Common Crossbill (Juvenile-Lynford)
Marsh Harrier (Male-Choseley)

Temmincks Stints (Cley Marshes)

   Few words and many photos, which is exactly as i planned this Blog!!!!
Whinchat (Male-Holme Dunes)

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Wheatear (Male)
   First day of a week off work, was spent at Portland. Sadly, it was very quiet.

   Not a lot of migration happening, except for Wheatears......with Ravens and Rock Pipits for company.

Wheatear (Female)

Rock Pipit

   So, where should i go now......then i remembered a Tweet about Early Spider Orchids, at Durlston Country Park, and still in Dorset. Should i go???? Well theres nothing here to keep me, so yeah why not.

   I parked the car and paid for the ticket, and began to wander around looking.....after a while, and with no sign, i began to think about my ticket running out. Not a good day, i thought, as i walked back to the car, and no signal, so i can't even phone anyone to get better directions!!!!

   As i got to the car park, i have a signal......and after a quick conversation decide i have about 20 minutes, and give it another go. Really glad  i did too, i found 2 plants still in flower, and they were different ones to the ones my friend had, had as well.

    My first Early Spider Orchids...nice!

Early Spider Orchid
Early Spider Orchid

Monday 5th May 2014

   Bank Holiday Monday......

Wood Warbler
   A trip to the Forest of Dean, in search of Wood Warbler, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker etc today, so a difficult day was expected, as you can imagine. A search near New Fancy View, produced a singing Wood Warbler though...

Wood Warbler

 thats a good start for the hard one, i thought anyway! A quick look at the pager saw the search stopped, and a trip back across the bridge to Slimbridge, was called for....a Summer plumaged adult Bonapartes Gull, on the South lake!!!

Common Sandpiper
    So Slimbridge, and the South lake hide it was, but obviously there was no sign of the bird! But, while waiting, i did photograph a Common Sandpiper, not much consolation though.

   Oh well, still no sign. Right then, another consolation prize was called for, and adult Summer plumaged Spoonbill had been showing well from the Martin Smith hide....worth a look?


  Sadly, before i got the shots i wanted, it flew off, but looked to land by the Robbie Garnett hide, so i walked around there.

   There it was, right in front of the hide, and i could not get the whole bird in, off came the converter, and the bird stood and preened for me.....stunning, and strange looking birds, at the same time.

   Another quick walkabout, saw me looking at a group of people photographing something, near the Rushy hide. Always interested to see what others are photographing, just in case, i walked over.

   There in under the trees was a female Sparrowhawk, on a kill. She was taking absolutely no notice of the growing crowd.
So, when i got chance, when a few people moved away, i sneaked into a space, and fired away.


     OK, not such a bad day, even if the 2 main targets were missing.

     Then, the news that the Bonapartes Gull was back. So back to the South lake hide, second time lucky maybe????

Bonapartes Gull

    It was there, with a group of Black-headed Gulls. It was a bit distant for really decent photos, but was fairly pleased with what i got. I got lots of it sitting on the water, all at the same distance. Then, something put everything up, and i clicked away, and hoped! I managed just the one shot withe the bird in focus(ish). So, now a very good day......

Bonapartes Gull

   Lesser Spot next time hopefully?????

Bonapartes Gull