short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

July- Butterflies,Dragonflies ,Moths and more

  So July is the month where I usually spend more time looking at other parts of wildlife instead of my first interest of Birds . Last year I was learning more about Butterflies and this year ive learnt a bit more with a couple of new species added to my list. Also this month in particular ive tried to dip my toe into the world of Moths, Dragonflies & Damselflies . Most of these were seen while on my work travels and most lunch breaks have been about getting the books out or getting onto social media to see what ive just seen ! So ill include a few pictures of what ive seen on my travels now ....

 Starting off with some Damselflies I saw while in Keswick .These are male & female Willow Emerald Damselflies.

This Dragonfly I believe is a Norfolk Hawker and seen at my local patch Thorpe Marshes.

Onto Moths now. Ive managed to ID half of the 30 plus species ive found, most were found in stair wells or near lights which were kept on during the night and attracted the Moths to settle nearby.
 So a small selection of what ive found .
Ruby Tiger Moth and Nut Tree Tussock Moths

Ruby Tiger Moth

Small Magpie-Micro Moth

Peppered Moth


Silver Y Moth

Cinnabar Moth

Early Thorn

Swallow-tail Moth

Campion Moth

Herald Moth

Common White Wave Moth
Butterflies have always intrigued me with there graceful flight and stunning arrays of colour and I was well chuffed to have finally found my first Painted Lady (pictured below) .

Painted Lady

Not particularly rare but I struggled to see one last summer on my travels so to get one this weekend just gone was great and to do it with my son George (5 yrs old) was special. I decided to stopped off at a nice Meadow in full flower on the way home from hes friends Birthday party.

A Proud Daddy with George, after finding our first Painted Lady Butterfly
We got the Bug Hunting bag out of the car (always ready in case of a stop off!) and went about searching for Butterflies, Caterpillers, Bees, Spiders, Grasshoppers and possible Day flying Moths. We were soon trying to catch a Grasshopper and in doing so George spotted a Caterpillar ...
Cinnabar Caterpiller
Grasshopper SP

 Always enjoy watching these little creatures and explained what this would soon be doing as regards the process of it becoming a Butterfly .George was fascinated !
We also connected with 2x Skipper (butterfly  species) .Small and possibly a Essex Skipper (still unsure)

Back to my work sightings ive had plenty of Comma ,Speckle wood, Red Admiral and Gatekeeper butterflies ...

Comma Butterfly
Gatekeeper Butterfly

Red Admiral Butterfly

Speckled Wood Butterfly
Finally I took the opportunity to join me good friend "Big Al" fishing on the River at the Patch last week. i was curious to see what fish were in the river and soon enjoyed watching him pull out some Perch and Roach. Bream also found in good numbers although we never caught any that evening.Nice to see up close and yet another part of the habitats wildlife that ive yet to explore/study.


 Happy Birding

Sunday, 2 July 2017

3UK lifers in May-June...

  3 uk lifers.... May-June 
So I've not been updated the blog as regular as I like but hoping to catch up ,starting with tonight. 
 So starting with the 18th may I joined up with Matt for a day in the Brecks .  
 We went to many places ( most of the known sites) and picked plenty of the "Brecks specialties " . Spotted flycatcher ,Firecrest and cuckoo were picked up quickly along with this rather smart Male Redstart .

Male Redstart
A pair of Stonechats was nice along with  Tree pipits and Woodlark which were all in fine song in the May sunshine . Stone curlew was picked up in new place for me and bird of the day was a Raven flying and calling !  This was a Uk lifer (no.280)for myself and we both watched as it was harassed by a couple of Carrion Crows , the size comparison was a great  to see in the field too.

Record shot of Raven and crow.(280)
  The day Ended with a special bird of which Ive been lucky enough to have watched on and off with Matt, on a undisclosed site...a pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Ive helped Matt when I could moniter these birds . Big Respect to him for putting in a lot of hard graft and many hours to firstly locate these birds and then watch them exacvate a number of different holes before finally laying & sit the eggs. Ive learnt a lot about this species of bird through my visits here and the many conversations ive shared with Matt- A Top bloke and Top bird!

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at hole

observing the birds at nest hole

on look out

 On the 23rd may I made my first visit to Potter Heighem marshes , a stunning place for birds . I immediately picked up 3x Spoonbills as I stepped I made my way along the bank . Cracking birds to see on any day but they would be overshadowed as I made my way round scanning the pools of water . A Wood sandpiper was picked up among some redshank and black headed Gulls.  I've actually not seen one for a couple of years so I enjoyed watching it for about 15 minutes before it took off.  Then the bird of the day .... Black Winged Stilt , . A pair  was seen together along with a 3rd bird.   I watched these neat and rather gracefull black /white Waders feed along the waters surface picking up the insects.   This was my 281 species in the UK.


Black Winged Stilt- uk list 281
  Now bringing it more up to date on the 10th June I went back to potter Heighem marshes with me old China , Yorkie and we set off from the lathams car park in hope of seeing the Black winged Stilt chicks and the newly reported Night Heron.  We walked along the river path picking up what probably one of my closet ever Marsh Harrier encounters along with 2x Barn owls hunting , one in each side of the river.   We carried in with the walk and it was at this point we both were drawn to the river and there it was ... A Night heron flying up river and then to turn and cross over our heads with a Little Egret! We were both lucky as we were treated to great views of the birds plumage . We watched it fly towards the wooded/small collection of trees.Night heron was my 282 uk bird  and was made even more memorable by  seeing the Black winged stilts with there chicks ... This species hasn't successfully bred in the county of Norfolk for many years and in fact the Uk it self.  A bird that usually found in the Spain so possibly climate change with more Dry weather  in there usual breeding grounds forcing in search of more wetlands habitat?  Potter Heighem is a great place for these birds along with the many other birds here
 So that's me up to date as regards away from the patch sightings which I'll up date soon
Happy birding