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Sunday, 11 July 2010

One Good turn...

A few days ago I had agreed to help out Chris & Alison A in marshalling the twitchers onto site to see the River Warbler on their land. It was the least I could do to repay them for their generosity in allowing me and many others to see it earlier in the week. So I wearily surfaced at 3am this morning and picking up Rob W at 4.10am and half an hour later, we were on site. We met Andrew, Lee W & Craig F & Dick F gave us the run down on what we had to do, but we had 20 minutes to enjoy the bird, which showed really well singing almost constantly for 3 hours and it showed for most of the time at the top of  the reeds sometimes in full view. 
I managed to run off a few shots and then took it in turns to collect the money, put the twitchers onto the bird and direct car parking. This was interspersed with regular breaks watching the bird, that continued to show very well mostly singing from the tops of the reeds.
I noticed the slight supercilia, the pink legs, the very thick dark tail and crucially I could see the marked undertail coverts. 
We also saw a Barn Owl and Marsh Harrier flying past.

On our way across a country lane near Aldeby, a Hare scampered across the road and briefly showed very well at the side of the field close to the road.
We then went down to Theberton Woods, where we immediately saw a White Admiral fly by.
I then observed a Southern Hawker fly around an Oak and then perched up in the tree.
We spotted an excellent male Purple Emperor that flew around the tops of the trees, often gliding in flight before he settled in an Oak tree, where we had reasonable views as it closed its wings. When the male Purple Emperor opened them we could clearly see the purple on the wing. Another Purple Emperor flew by and over our heads. Lower down we saw 3 Ringlet butterflies and finally I saw an Emperor dragonfly which flew over the road and out of sight.
It was really nice to see Jean & Ken G here who I hadn't seen for a long while.
At Minsmere Island Mere, we missed the Ferruginous Duck sorting through all the ducks in eclipse plumage but did see a Bittern twice briefly in flight. On the road by the Rhodedendron tunnel, a Common Viviparous Lizard was seen briefly before scuttling to cover.
At Westleton Heath we spotted at least 5 excellent Silver- studded Blue Butterflies and heard the brief "churr" of a Dartford Warbler. Note on the hindwing of the Silver- stud, the grey/silver within the black marginal spots and additionally the clear white band between the 2 rows of black spots, also on the hind wing.
At Dunwich, we saw several White Admiral butterflies which showed well, several Comma & Ringlets plus a Large Skipper were also seen but we failed to see any White Letter Hairstreaks. 
A Grass Snake, slithered under a log as we waited for a White Admiral to fly by.

After a couple of hours of much needed kip, in the late afternoon in the garden, the Brown Hawker continues to patrol the area and Greenfinches, Great & Blue Tits adults and youngsters continue to use the feeders. 

I was delighted again to see the Hummingbird Hawk Moth again in the garden feeding on the purple flowers near the kitchen window 15 minutes ago at 8pm this evening, this time it flew east near the Fuchsia and Honeysuckle where it was lost from view. Maybe it keeps coming back in the evening because of the strong smell of our large Jasmine bush, which is nicely out in flower at the moment (attracting a myriad thunder flies too.)

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