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Friday, 24 August 2012

Garden Butterfly Bonanza

On Thursday 23rd August, I was amazed to find 3 Small Tortoiseshells on the Buddlea in the front garden and another, 4th Small Tortoiseshell in the back garden Buddlea along the west fence together with 3 Peacocks and 2 Red Admirals, a veritable bonanza of butterflies in the garden in what has been a very poor summer for them so far.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Hot & Sultry Minsmere

Sunday 19th August the afternoon was hot and sultry and Jenny & I decided to go to Minsmere. Leaving Jenny on the beach, I visited the hides starting off with the public hide. Looking out over the South scrape area, 3 Spotted Redshanks were seen all in their grey winter plumage.A Greenshank was seen also here too. Looking north, walking along a spit a fine Wood Sandpiper walked east along a spit. Walking over the Dunes around 50 Grayling butterflies seen plus around 15 Common Blues, amazingly my fist of the year! Walking down, I heard the distinctive 7 note whistle of the Whimbrel, and a fantastic group of 8 Whimbrel flew right over our heads and south- east out to sea. A Starfish was seen on some grass near the beach. At the Lucky Pool, 3 Redshank seen plus further back and just south an immature Spoonbill stood and preened. 5 Little Egret stood together behind the Lucky Pool and another 8 were seen on the levels. By the Sluice bushes, 6 Swallow and 4 Sand Martins flew over. More Graylings seen on the walk back. Very little seen from the East Scrape hide. A quick visit to the Island Mere, walking along the ramp on the right hand side we were delighted to still see a few Round- leaved Winter Green flowers, we've never seen them before! They were still in flower with white petals and they did indeed have very round leaves. From the hide, I saw a lot of Gadwall, some 50 on the left side of the Mere, a Little Grebe at the back feeding a youngster. Amongst the ducks, opposite an immature stripy Great- crested Grebe stood the excellent eclipse female Ferruginous Duck, face on with brown bib on breast. She then settled in the water swimming left behind the bench with Cormorants on it. The peaked forehead seen and distinctive white undertail patch noted too. A quick trip to Dunwich was notable because exiting the car park we saw the BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson, in a white jacket and trousers cross the road with his young son and take the path towards the Greyfriars Wood! In the evening, at Southwold by the Pier, a group of 28 Kittiwakes flew south, a further 5, 8, 1, 3 and 2, 1 and 3 seen. Plus groups of 23, 14 and 8 Common Terns flew south over the sea. By the Beach Huts just north of the Pier and the defence rocks around 30 Pied Wagtails and 2 Turnstone seen.

Weekend Catch Up

On Friday 10th August visiting a group for work at the Brooklands centre, several Meadow Grasshoppers seen plus a perched Migrant Hawker and 2 Gatekeepers. In the evening, I saw 4 shooting stars, one was really spectacular zipping across the sky On Saturday 11th August, Brown Hawker, the usual female and 1 Red Admiral and 2 Peacocks seen by the Buddlea bush. On Sunday 12th August, at Covehithe Broad disappointingly no waders were seen as the water levels were too high, the highlight was a Harbour Porpoise swimming south and an immature Kittiwake flying south right over the beach. On Saturday 18th August, a Peacock & Red Admiral plus a female Common darter seen in the garden.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Trio of Migrant Hawkers

Having to work this evening, Thursday 9th August, I had the afternoon off and on a balmy hot afternoon, I spent much of the time in the garden, the sunny weather and in particular a very sunny spot by the Pergoda. The sunny conditions attracted a Hawker dragonfly flying around and eventually settling on the Rose by the Pergoda. It was a male Migrant Hawker, my first of the year. Seconds later, I saw a second male Migrant Hawker perched on a Honeysuckle. Both Hawkers were very obliging and posed well for the camera. A third male Migrant Hawker briefly settled close by on the Rose but soon flew off. Elsewhere in the garden, in the wildlife pond, a large Common Frog was seen on a Lily pad and minutes later it was replaced by a second smaller Common Frog. Butterflies were also in evidence, 2 Gatekeepers, a Meadow Brown, 2 Large Whites and 2 skittish and flightly Peacocks were seen too. My best butterfly tally in the garden of the year so far. Incidently, there has been no sign of the Hobby since Sunday, I couldn't look tonight as I was working until 9.30pm at Gorleston Library.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Hobby hunting again

Today, a Gatekeeper was seen in the garden and the female Brown Hawker was again hunting in the garden briefly settling on the wall above the garage door. The Hobby was seen again hunting over Fallowfields 8.49 to 9.06pm after going AWOL last night. The Hobby even soared right over the roof of our house.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Hobby & Helleborines

Yesterday, Thursday 2nd August evening the Hobby was back hunting from 8.51 to 9.06pm, this evening, Friday 3rd August, it was hunting from 8.49 to 9.10pm often hunting right over the garden. earlier in the evening, 2 medium sized Frogs seen by the Fish pond and earlier still I managed to find 11 Broad- leafed Helleborines checking part (but not all of a local wood, (it was disconcerting to see they had mown the south side of the classic spot for this plant- which had 2 plants on show, I've had around 8 plants here in the past) some plants were real monsters especially the one by the bird table and 3 near the start of the walk. A Chiff- Chaff was very vocal in the evening sunlight. Bullfinches were also heard calling from the northern hedge with shapes flutting about deep in the hedge.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Hobby back

Early morning, before work, on Monday 30th July, from Breydon water south wall, I saw at least one distant Whimbrel by some bright green grass, near the Lumps further along there may have been another but it was just too far away to make out with my 30X scope. Back at the car park, a pair of Whitethroats flew to a nearby bush and then both darted into cover. After an absence of at least one evening, at 9.10 this evening (Wednesday 1st August), I looked out and saw the Hobby again hunting over the north end of Fallowfields and watched it until 9.17pm.