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Sunday, 15 July 2012

No Dove, Stoat & Purple Hairstreak

I was feeling distinctly unwell today, beginnings of a sore throat and cold? I did however eventually get out and drive to Beccles Marsh at lunchtime for a recently seen Turtle Dove. It was great seeing both Paul & Jane & Roy H and his wife. Despite the excellent company and being shown where they had been seen on telegraph lines near the old swing bridge, the only problem was we didn't see any. Probably, because the weather had started to cloud up and conditions weren't favourable at all. Turtle Doves are rapidly taking the place of Hawfinch as most dipped bird this year so far; having tried Westleton Heath 3x for them, missing them at Kessingland 3X too. But as I walked back along the path, a black-tail tipped Stoat ran out in front of me and along the path from left to right it then darted into the undergrowth the other side, it repeated this feat minutes later behind me, skilfully eluding the rapidly emerging camera lens! Reaching home, I received a very welcome call from Nick B who said a Purple Hairstreak was sunning itself on his lawn! ten minutes later, I arrived at his home at Gunton, and walking into his back garden I saw the excellent male Purple Hairstreak sunning itself showing its iridescent purple upperwings, proving it was a male. It was very photogenic, unlike 99% of the rest of the genus. It spent it's entire time here, closing its wings and sometimes flying a short way (a matter of inches only) before climbing up a grass stem again. I also saw the remains of both Spotted Orchid and Bee Orchid in the back garden too. Nicholas eventually caught the Hairstreak in a glass jar (for it's own safety) to be released in a safe place in the Oak tree in the garden. I went back to Links Road, amazingly the puddle had completely disappeared, just 3 BH Gulls on the car park but the puddles are still there worth checking in the days ahead and no further sign of the Lesser Emperor either. PHOTOS TO FOLLOW

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