Friday, 23 July 2010

Two species added to the yearlist this week with treecreeper (175) on Wednesday and pectoral sandpiper (176) this evening.
The strangest sighting of the week was 14 common cranes west yesterday morning. While I was walking back to the office I noticed 14 large birds flying away from me I thought they may be cranes or storks but didn't have bins with me. later in the morning, 2 visitors came in and said they had seen the flock and they were cranes. Amazingly they were never seen again!

Thanks to a sharp eyed reader (thanks James) I need to correct one of my moths from the other day. The gallium carpet is actually a sharp angled carpet.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Muggy, cloudy and still - perfect moth trapping weather. Put my heath trap on last night for the first time in a while and had a decent catch. Minimum count of 89 moths of 34 species. Highlight for me was my first marbled clover but galium carpet and olive were things I don't see very often. Most of the numbers were made up of dark arches (14) and uncertain (11).

top, marbled clover, middle, galluim carpet
bottom, olive
Found this image of the buff breasted sand on the camera, no better than the other one but it give you an idea.
Hobby over the garden this morning.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Doing the Snettisham WeBS count is not always my favourite pastime. It is not easy to ID waders at 1km range in the heat haze when half the time you can only tell if they are a big or small wader!!
Despite a soaking from a sharp shower, this months count on Saturday wasn't too bad. The saltmarsh had a couple of green sands and a greenshank and there were just over 4000 knot on the mud. A change on the day before as we had only had one knot on my guided walk!
The challenge is to be able to count the saltmarsh and then get to the hides for high tide. Sounds simple until you factor the hour walk to the start point before you start. Anyway, got back to the hides and there were already lots of dunlin and oycs present. As I counted the dunlin I picked up a slightly larger bird with them. Thankfully it was near the end of the flock and I could check it quickly. Pale yellowish legs, heavily streaked breast sharply ending on the lower breast, it was an adult pectoral sandpiper. I managed to get Dave and his guided walk onto to it before the flock flushed and it was lost. A good find at the end of a long morning.

Whimbrel over the garden this evening and a cracking white admiral butterfly at our ringing site on Sundau morning for the 2nd week running.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Had a quick look at the fresh marsh this evening at it is still hooching with waders. 15 common sands were new in from yesterday. The buff breasted sand was in a bit closer so had a go at digi-scoping it. Unfortunatly the light was poor and it was a bit too windy but I managed to manipulate one to get a reasonable shot.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Here are some photos from my holiday

male large blue butterfly at Collard Hill, no Glastonbury, Somerset - the best I could do with the breezy conditions and their very flighty nature.

funnel-web spider sp

Somerset (in black) on their way to victory over Glamorgan at the County Ground, Taunton.

Common lutestring moth

Common spotted orchids - normal and white forms

common century
Back to work today but didn't manage to catch up with the pec sand. Was going to look this evening but the welcome rain put pay to that. A crossbill (174) calling was a welcome addition.

We moved our weekly ringing session to Sunday and it was an inspired choice as it produced the highest total of birds handled for the site. By the end of the morning we had processed 134 birds of which 87 were new. The species of note were 20 blue tit (seem to have had a good year), 10 blackcap, 4 chiffchaff, 2 treecreeper and single whitethroat and nuthatch. A long-lived woodpigeon was re-trapped that was originally ringed in April 2005. A crossbill was also around the site again but didn't come down from the treetops.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Into the last couple of days on my hols so making the most of the weather with getting in more ringing visits.
Kevin and I spent Thursday trying to get some swallows but had limited success. Most of the birds had finished breeding and were reluctant to retun to the barns. We did manage to get 3 adults and 5 young from a nest. Yesterday we had a successful visit to our tree sparrow site with 17 juveniles caught at the feeders and 1 young rung in the nest. Two adult whitethroats were a bonus.

Dropped into Sculthorpe Moor briefly this afternoon and had a marsh tit and 4 white admiral butterfies.

The new pond in the garden is already starting to pull things in and its only been in a week. The birds have now found it and are happy to drink and bathe and I have seen 2 common darter dragonflies and a common blue damselfly in the last couple of days.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Nipped down to the reserve the other day for a couple of hours and the water levels are looking good. Unfortunatly didn't see the buff breasted sandpiper but I did twitch it last Friday evening. Year tick 173 and having missed the last one by 2 mins, Titchwell tick 254. The fresh marsh was awesome for waders with just over 200 black tailed godwit (1 colour ringed), green sandpiper, greenshank, 17 ruff (4 colour ringed), 91 dunlin, 13 spotted redshank hobby and a brief spoonbill.

Med gull over garden this morning and there seems to be a few coal tits about at the moment but they won't go into my nets!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Back from a successful foray to the south-west in search of butterflies and also managed to see a few birds along the way. Even the journey down was good with 9 buzzards and a red kite along the A14.

The main focus was to see large blue butterfly at a re-introduction site near Glastonbury. Thankfully the weather was favourable so last Wednesday we headed to Collard Hill near Glastonbury. The omens were good as the walk from the carpark produced a cracking display of pyramidal and common spotted orchids. Once into the hill there were marbled white butterflies everywhere with at least 50 seen. Although I was expecting the large blues to be larger than the commoner species they were smaller that I thought and very mobile! Although it was fairly overcast, it was warm and they were very lively. After a bit of patience and a lot of rushing about I did manage to get good close views although not really good enough to photograph (should have taken the longer lens!) but I have god a couple of record shots which I will post at a later date. Apart from the blues, there we had fantastic views over the south Levels, 3 raven, 7 buzzard, painted lady and several Emporer dragonflies.

We spent the afternoon at Westhay and Ham Wall were we had the long staying great white egret, a brief bittern, kingfisher and a male marsh harrier.

Visited a local site for nightjar were we had at least 6 birds (1 female) very close to the carpark. Flight views of the male were pretty good as it got dark.
Also had time to watch the mighty Somerset Sabres trash the Glamorgan Dragons in a t20 cricket match at the County Ground.

Ringing at our site in North Norfolk has been excellent over the last few weeks with huge numbers of birds ringed. In fact we have ringed just over 150 birds in the last two weekends alone! Most of the birds have been youngsters and these numbers must dry up soon. The main species have been tits,blackcaps and chaffinches but there have been a few unusual species for us. Highlights have been 3 treecreepers, 5 chiffchaff, 2 jay and a whitethroat. Unfortunatly, 2 fly-over crossbills last weekend didn't drop in.

I haven't had chance to edit my photos yet but I will post some in the next few days