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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Winterton delights

On Saturday 10th June, a visit to Winterton resulted in me seeing the an Emperor dragonfly flying over the Dunes. Muy main quest was easily seen literally sticking out like a sore thumb, a fine summer- plumaged White- winged Black Tern sat amongst the Little Tern colony. Several times it flew out to sea and flew back again. Meanwhile I watched Little terns fishing close in shore and saw 2 sat on the back. Really good to see Dave J, ex NLIS colleague. An excursion over to the Toad pools revealed Dave discovering a Smooth Newt by the side of the pool and I saw it clamber into weedy vegetation. Dave directed me over to the square fenced pool slightly NW of there inland and was delighted to see 2 Red- veined Darters, one resting on the sandy sides and 1 perching on the reeds. I also saw lots of Natterjack tadpoles too. As I was photographing the RV Darter on the reeds using my 500mm lens, a male Roe Deer literally walked past me barely 30 feet away, initially it was against the sun, but I froze and as walked up to a bramble bush, I waited till it walked behind this and I stealthily crept up to the bush where it was again 30 feet away in really good light and managed to get some nice shots before it slowly walked off southwards. Walking back 2 Yellowhammers seen also plus a Hairy Dragonfly.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Orchids at Thelnathan Fen

On Wednesday 7th June, having a work trip to Fulbourn, I was able to call in at the SWT reserve of Thelnathan Fen (between Diss and Bury St. Edmonds) and arrived parking at the side of the reserve, Some botanists were here chatting. Walking along I could see lots of Orchids, Southern Marsh and Spotted and what I hope were Early Marsh Orchids by the path slightly further on and slightly past their best.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Emperor deceased

Sad to say I found a male Emperor Dragonfly freshly dead (it wasn't there first thing when I fed the garden fish in the other pond) on the edge of the lawn by the wildlife pond, at 1.30pm on Mon June 5th, it wasn't mauled at all seeming to indicate it wasn't taken by the cats. The worst sort of first record for the garden, I was hoping to see and photograph a live one in the garden. It was duly buried in the garden.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Strumpshaw Swallowtails

Before I went to Strumpshaw I called in at a Norfolk location where I have been successful in the past for Turtle Doves. Happily I heard the purring almost straight away coming from down the lane. It was also evident there was a pheasant shoot nearby but I looked up and saw the excellent Turtle Dove flew up to a higher branch in the canopy of the tree. I looked straight up at it and wandered back along the lane where I got a fine view of this rusty backed beauty. Delightful to see as always. Bouyed with this, I drove onto Strumpshaw and I managed to park up the road and was delighted to see the garden was still as it always was and a crowd was at the top because there were 2 fine pristine Swallowtails in active feeding flight drinking the nectar from the sweet williams. It was ironic that as soon as Rob Wils left both butterflies became slightly more obliging and I got my best shots at this time. A walk around the reserve revealed just 2 Scarce Chasers, a male and a female. From the Fen hide, a Grey Heron, a Mute Swan lead 2 cygnets swam away. By the woods just before reception, a caged flowering Bee Orchid and a flowering Common Twayblade were both caged. Back at reception, a tatty Swallowtail flew around some fenced flowers for a while. Back at the garden another slightly tatty Swallowtail was feeding at the top.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Ness Point and Carlton Marshes

A quick look at Ness Point confirmed the Painted Ladies were no longer there, as I arrived at Carlton Marshes a female Whitethroat seen briefly and walking up the central path, I retraced my steps when I saw a Barn Owl hunting really close to the western path to Whitecast marshes. The Barn Owl flew and perched on a post close to the car park. But flew off east when a cape tried stalking it. I looked around Carlton Marshes couldn't see any Raft Spiders on the Scrape the young Lapwing were still around as were 3 Black- tailed Godwits in faded summer plumage. Whilst up along the river wall, 2 Wall Browns, 3 Small Tortoiseshells and around 4 male Scarce Chasers. 1 of the Chasers posed nicely for the camera. Male and female Banded Demoiselle seen too.

Ness Point wildlife

Adult Black Redstart seen at Ness Point on Sunday afternoon in the murk. On Monday 29th on asunder evening, 2 Painted Lady butterflies flying around the Red Valerian mostly settled on the path on the south side of the Orbis Energy centre.