Monday, 29 June 2015

Banded Demoiselle

I knew I had seen a Banded Demoiselle in the last two years. Today I twitched it, well I don't know if twitched is the right word. When I woke from my twilight job I popped over to Tonbridge to Hayesden CP. Didn't find them at the place I saw them before, in fact apart from Kingfisher, Meadow Brown, Comma and Small Tortoiseshell was starting to wonder if I had imagined it. At the furthest bridge away I saw 2 Beautiful (virgo) and what I think is a Emerald Damselfly. Also saw a possible Banded. As I headed back to the car park I tried again and there were at least 6 in one area. 1 massive fish kept surfacing at the bottom of one of the plants they liked to sit on.

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Various places I found it along the shallows and got some decent 
photos but here are a selection

Friday, 26 June 2015

Ashdown forest and some results

Went to 3 different areas in Ashdown Forest, the first was Gill's lap. Small Heath, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown and Small White all seen. Bird wise, Redstart, Stonechat and 3 Raven calling as they flew over were the best.
Then went to Old Lodge and more Redstart, nice Buzzard and Kestrel. There are a few small pools and they had a few Dragonflies on. Broad-bodied Chaser, Emperor Dragonfly, Four-spotted Darter, Common Darter, Small Red Damselfly and Azure Damselfly, someone else there explained the difference and I realise that I already have seen them at Broadwater.
Saw and photographed a Grasshopper which I am going to identify. Have also identified the Dragonfly I couldn't before as a Golden-ringed Dragonfly.


Photo I took on Wednesday is a Crane Fly 

Four-spotted Darter

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Cordulegaster boltonii

Did another area where Dartford Warbler were last year, but no sign today. Think they are in a different area now but will visit again to look for them.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Lots to report and see

Been quite busy. On the 21st I attended an event at a local park and found Buff-tailed Bee, Red-tailed Bee, Honey Bee and Solitary mining bee (Andrena bicolor). Again I did take some photos but they are all distant shots.

On the 24th I went to Broadwater again. Fairly long visit and the amount of birds was quite good, added Turtle Dove to year and site list, as well as Dunnock (finally) and Spotted Flycatcher to the site list. Now up to 53 and going up steadily, but am sure it will slow down soon.
Butterflies - Peacock, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Meadow Brown today, Meadow Brown being new for today.
Two adders and I got the picture right this time. Was looking at this snake and concentrating on getting the photo right and hadn't noticed until I got home that there was another in the shot.

Meadow Browns (Maniola jurtina)

Peacock (Inachis io)

Two adders

Also saw Bee mimic Hoverfly sp, At the Pond a Saucer Bug (Ilyocoris cimicoides, more Beautiful Demoiselle (loads all over at the mo), Large Red and Common  Blue Damselfly, Four-spotted Chaser and briefly the mystery Dragonfly I haven't identified yet. And more, looking online and in books I believe I saw Emerald Damselfly (Lestes spansa) which was gorgeous but stayed in flight when I saw it, and Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator), lovely blue shining in the sun just looked amazing. Again got quite close but kept moving. Another mystery flyer was on the edge of a woodland ridge and at the moment I have no clue what it is.

Dunnock for site

Another mystery insect.

A fly that landed while taking a photo.

Will start looking up mystery flyer but if anyone looking here knows what it it it would be very useful to know thankyou. While at site meet a local who specified a particular area for me to check, have been planning to go for a while anyway. So next up on here might be Redstart and Dartford Warbler, so here's hoping.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Dragonflies, Chasers, Darters, Bees and Adders

Quite a long visit today, found another area of the reserve I hadn't been to. Was just about to take a photo of a Speckled Wood when it flew and didn't stop until it was out of  sight. Did get a Brimstone photo. Saw another Demoiselle that looked different to the male I saw before, think this is a Imm male though. Had Broad-bodied Chaser again, Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) and Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum), also managed to photograph Comon Blue Damselfly and Large Red Damselfly this time. Have realized that anything small I just can't seem to focus on it unless I zoom in. 

Both taken today I think the one below is adult male and the one 
above an Imm. male I think.

Common Blue and Large Red Damselfly

Also saw what I think looks like a Plasterer Bee but really not sure. One of the pictures I have looks like it has some white/light on the body which is hidden by the wings in the picture, so I am thinking Hylaeus hyalinatus!  Is it even a bee? I will look it up more but it will just have to be unidentified. I do like to put a name to things but now realize that insects are not always the easiest things to id. Had 2 adders, one disappeared pretty fast the other was slower to move, I am not happy though that the shot I got was blurred, not happy at all it could have been amazing. The warden and a few others were checking on Dormouse population so will be interesting to find out the results. Bird wise, usual suspects.Gorgeous Tree Pipits, Yellowhammers and Grey Wagtail, also had a wren with nest material going into its nest, next visit will be looking for Spotted Flycatcher and Turtle Dove (as 1 heard today apparently). 

What I think might be a Plasterer Bee? but what do I know.

Now you can see why I am not happy with this shot.

An enjoyable morning and really enjoy just being out and seeing things even if I have no clue what they are.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Tawny Owl and evening visit

Yesterday got home from work and there was a Tawny Owl calling in some nearby trees, quickly went through to the garden so I could hear it from there as my garden list has about 9 species on it.

Tonight there was a evening with the warden to view Nightjars. We heard about 5 birds and saw at least 2, also had 2 Woodcock fly over. Found out that both Lesser spotted Woodpecker and Spotted Flycatcher are nesting on reserve. Then heard a Lesser spotted Woodpecker call right near us, had had Nuthatch calling when I arrived and ticked of Starling also. Grey Heron flew across at about 10.15. Added Common Pipistrelle to the list.
Showed a picture of a part of a tank in a previous post and found there are other bits around, also pointed out a trench that was used for exercises.

From a Churchill tank which was probably abandoned 
there, apparently these type of tank were plagued with 
mechanical faults resulting from its rather hasty 

They believe that some of the preparation for the 
Dieppe raids took place here.

A pretty fungi I found.

The moth trap opened.

The moth trap had a few micro moths in it and didn't get any decent pictures.Might be able to identify 2 or 3 but couldn't even be sure about those. Enjoyed the evening and heard about plans for the reserve. Am hoping that eventually the Dartford warbler will be resident, heres hoping.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Hudsonian Whimbrel anyone

A long time since I did a twitch but today with my father-in-law I went to Pagham Harbour and got great views of the Hudsonian Whimbrel. Much too far away for my camera but did try. Now have 4 insects to look up, including 2 bees. Only twitch birds that are a certain distance away and this was easy, walked along towards Church Norton and there was the bird feeding on the mud flats, and even obliged us with a flight view across the flights. The lack of white rump was very obvious in flight.

Best I could get

Also saw Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Green Sandpiper, Avocet, Whimbrel and a gorgeous flock of Black-tailed Godwits along with lots of other supporting cast made it a good day of birdwatching.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Last visit and what's coming up

Good visit on Wednesday. Added Swift, Mistle Thrush and Feral Pigeon for my site list. A lone Buzzard drifted over while at the Decoy pond. The wind was quite strong at times and it seemed to keep the Tree Pipits down on the ground. Insects seem to be hiding as well, normal Butterflies and brief Moths were seen.

Great Tit

Interestingly tall grass

Lovely flower and saw what I think was a Early Bumblebee
(Bombus Pratorum) but could only get a not very good photo. 
There was also a White-tailed I think,

One entrance to the reserve.

The Buzzard that drifted over

On Tuesday the RSPB have a evening event looking for Woodcock, Nightjar, but also a moth trap, bat detector and looking for glow worms. Looking forward to that. Also hoping to secure a place in a Moth evening, Bee id event and Butterfly day very soon, Just need to secure some funds and then I can get excited about that too.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Evening with Nightjars

Saturday morning I had Green shield bug (Palomera prasina) in the garden along with about 10 caterpillar, which I believe were Large White. Common Wasp, Black Ant and Common Woodlouse also all going about their business.
The reserve close there gates at 7pm, but they have a exit so you can get back out at any time. Made sure I got there before 7 and knowing I had a wait I went for a wander. Added Hobby, Herring Gull and Jackdaw to the list, 1 of the 2 jackdaws was very tattered, I assume they were going to a roost as there only seem to be Crows on site. Also saw Pill Woodlouse (Armadillidium vulgare) never really thought it might be a different species to the Common but of course it is. Took some photos of flowers and shrubs which I can only guess at name but are just nice to look at.

Green shield Bug

1 of the many Caterpillars

Seems to take forever to get dark and even then it didn't get that dark. Tree Pipit, Blackbird and Robin were all still singing. Then the distinctive churring of a Nightjar, 3 birds at one point. Have a recording but can't seem to download it onto laptop but will try again. Over the Decoy pond Daubenton's Bat (Myotis daubentonii), well that is what I believe it is. Looking it up I hadn't realised we have 17 breeding species in the UK. A quiet Woodcock flew over while leaving this area, Apart from a shooting star and some odd light spots in the sky that was my evening done. 

Camera never lies but it didn't seem this dark to me.