Tag Archives: Red Admiral

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.


Sizewell B


Purple Swamphen


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.


Migrant Hawker


Migrant Hawker


Migrant Hawker


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.






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.





Just Chatting

After dipping out on the Redstart at Cossington Meadows last night I was down there again at 06.30 this morning, and what a beautiful morning it was. The Whinchat was a bit closer than last night but often elusive in the grass (see the video clip) but was lit wonderfully by the soft morning light.



The 1W/F type Redstart was quickly found as it fed along the main track, typically flying up into the hedge and sitting quite low down. I often wonder how many times Redstart gets overlooked?


As I headed back to the car to go and meet Dave, to try for the Crake again, this Red Admiral was catching some early sun. No sign of the Crake in a couple of visits today though it has been ‘seen!’

Red Admiral



Drunkbirder TV

A few videos sequences from the last week with a few more to come when I can be bothered to sit through the uploading process.

An Elusive Beauty

After work last night Dave and I did a silly thing and went to Titchwell RSPB reserve to twitch a bloody butterfly… Dave didn’t even need it so that makes him madder than I!

On arriving there was a bloke in the picnic area and I thought he was just going to put us on to the butterfly… oh no… not at all. A few people came and went for differing lengths of time including James McCallum, the wildlife artist. He talked us through it’s movements the previous day… more searching and all for nothing.

We had had a few brief glimpses of a large ‘nymph’ but nothing conclusive. By about 19.45 the sun was getting lower and a small patch of trees were getting some sun. I stood on a picnic table to get a better view of this patch which is where any butterfly activity was centred. We had a nice Red Admiral in view basking and I soon became aware of two more butterflies in the sunny spot flying… boom! All of a sudden one did a swooping glide around followed by a bit of fluttering flight and another glide… unmistakable. A Camberwell Beauty! Get – fucking – in! You had to have bins up to see it but eventually I had about 10 flight views Dave and the first bloke less. It would do solo long loops and occasionally fight with a Red Admiral in a rapid spiral.

Still not close views, my only other was in Canada where I saw on from a train as we were stuck for about 2 hours waiting to enter Jasper station. I must also say this in one butterfly where I prefer the alternative name… Mourning Cloak.

The day was spoiled by only very average fish and chips in Hunstanton.