Tag Archives: Peacock

Demons Of The Swamp Vol.3

Fans of The Cramps will get the title and if you don’t like The Cramps a. What is wrong with you? b. Why are we friends? Maybe we’re not.

Anyway, a blog post. First in a year? Does anyone still read blogs? If so read on.

Yesterday I went on my first twitch in absolutely ages. What did I twitch? A Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio, some call it Western Swamphen, I still prefer Purple Gallinule. Will it ever be accepted onto the BOU British List? I doubt it but then Chinese Pond Heron made so maybe.

Anyway one arriving at RSPB Minsmere we were soon watching Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station. I mean the Swampmonster.

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Sizewell B

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Purple Swamphen

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Purple Swamphen

After a while of watching the Swampdonkey walk round a pool a sort of purple haze descends on a man and it was time to head off to the visitor centre to buy some china tea cloths or something and a coffee and bacon butty.

Around the centre, as well as the stench of composting toilets, are lots of Buddleia bushes. These attracted a steady stream of insects and a steady stream of photographers.

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Migrant Hawker

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Migrant Hawker

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Migrant Hawker

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Peacock & Red Admiral

By now we needed to see more birds and better insects so yomped a whole 300m to look at the Stone Curlew, two adults and a chick. Can’t be too many places you can see Purple Gallinule and Stone Curlew in the same reserve.

Back towards the centre we dipped Pantaloon Bee but scored with the Beewolves and a bonus if somewhat shy Purple Hairstreak.

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Beewolf

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Beewolf

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Purple Hairstreak

We finished our day watching a pair of Honey Buzzard put on a full flight display over Westwood Lodge at Walberswick. The three lifers in the day Brian Moore’s granddaughter Rosie certainly hit a purple patch!

All photos were either iPhonescoped (still or 4K video) or taken using the camera on the iPhone 6S. Stills from video were taken using the StillShot app.

 

 

 

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Nymphomaniac

A few more photos from Sunday at Bloody Oaks Quarry – this time of butterflies from the Nymphalidae family.

Silver-washed Fritillary

Silver-washed Fritillary

Silver-washed Fritillary

Silver-washed Fritillary

Silver-washed Fritillary

Silver-washed Fritillary

Peacock

Peacock

 

All White?

Took Minnie out for a bit of a walk this lunchtime as I needed to post a letter… you still can, for a limited time only if this ConDem Govt. gets its way. I took her along Tom Long’s Meadow, a fantastic bit of wet woodland and scrub (that the local allotment society want to plough up and turn into allotments) that parallels the Loughborough Rd through Quorn. A once regular site for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker – after successful breeding nearby I hope they will be there again soon. I hope Quorn Parish Council veto the idea.

Plenty of Butterflies in evidence, indeed, every nectar source seems filled with Butterflies at the minute. This year is turning into one of the best for many a year. Large numbers of Small White and Large White as well as good numbers of Peacock and signs of a recovery for Small Tortoiseshell after the poor years previously.

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A fresh Southern Hawker and a few Brown Hawker on the wing – both hunting Butterflies!

The ‘poor quality’ photos were using the Doris lens and Sussex film in Hipstamatic on the iPhone 4S.

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Lady Garganey

After work I decided to make the best of the weather by heading up into the extreme NE bit of Leicestershire… that pointy bit right at the top that eats into Nottinghamshire. The purpose – try and finally nail a few decent Garganey photos.

As I arrived Rod Baker and Roger Davis were just packing up  and informed me the birds had flushed and flown SE down the canal. I set off passing not a lot in the way of Garganey or decent Garganey habitat. I did pass plenty of butterflies with one Comma, two Peacock and a handful of Small Tortoiseshell seen. I decided after no luck to try the original site.

As I approached the feeding station a male Sparrowhawk dropped in for a Bunting takeout.

About 200m NE of the bridge I heard a familiar low, crackling call… got you! A superb drake Garganey.

Garganey

Garganey

The birds were quick to flush at any passing dog walker, the female was always much shyer preferring to stay in the rushes. They stayed pretty faithful though to a 500m stretch of water.

Garganey

Garganey

Back at the road the feeders were pretty busy with plenty of Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting joining the Chaffinch, House Sparrow and Tree Sparrow.

Reed Bunting

Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

Back To Nature Alive

I went back to Nature Alive this morning – I’m becoming something of a regular here, though today, I didn’t see another soul. There were plenty of folk at Aldi and McDonalds but none bothered to get in touch with the nature on their doorstep. What is it with a majority of the population? They will happily ooh and aah at Springwatch etc but they hardly ever bother to get close to nature. A few days ago I was showing a mother and her son the ovipositing female Emperor Dragonfly and she started going on about Dragonflies biting… I metaphorically slapped my forehead and tried to explain that this didn’t happen…

Anyway, back to today, plenty of insect activity this morning, I logged Emperor, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Common Darter, female Broad-bodied Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer as well as adding a male Banded Demoiselle to my growing site list.

Black-tailed Skimmer

Black-tailed Skimmer

This head on shot shows the fearsome jaws the give Dragonflies their scientific species name, Odonata.

Black-tailed Skimmer

female Broad-bodied Chaser

Plenty of Butterflies on the wing too, good numbers of Comma and Peacock with the usual suspects. At least four Common Blue and two Small Copper were new species for me here. Some areas look good for Brown Argus, Dingy and Grizzled Skipper in season… I’ll have to check next spring.

Common Blue

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

Peacock

A few new birds for the list as well with Goldfinch and Dunnock being logged – not spectacular I know but the site list is growing slowly.

Scilly Dump (Clump)

Hmmm, what shall we not go and see next?

Hmmm, what shall we not go and see next?

Mediterranean Gull 2W

Mediterranean Gull 2W

Jack Snipe

Jack Snipe

Minke Whale

Minke Whale

Minke Whale

Minke Whale

Peacock

Peacock

Redstart

Redstart

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Whinchat

Whinchat

Basking in Sunshine

Not a lot to report on the birding front. Hardly any ‘commons’ let alone ‘scarce’ or even ‘rares.’ Best personal find was a Wryneck on the track to Cove Vean on St Agnes on Sunday. Leigh and I had taken the path less trodden as the masses rushed straight of for the Richards, Tawny, Blyth’s Tawny Pipit and the previous days fly-over Richards Red-throated Pipit. Yes it’s that fucking stoopid here.

Anyways here’s a bit of a photo dump.

The Drunkbirder shows Rob Lambert the worst Wryneck photo ever.

The Drunkbirder shows Rob Lambert the worst Wryneck photo ever.

Comma

Comma

Peacock

Peacock

Wryneck, St Mary's

Wryneck, St Mary's

Wryneck, St Mary's

Wryneck, St Mary's

Whooper Swan, St Agnes

Whooper Swan, St Agnes

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Stick Insect

Stick Insect

Siberian Reed Warbler

Siberian Reed Warbler

Basking Shark

Basking Shark

Basking Shark

Basking Shark

Fungi

Fungi

Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler