Sunday, 30 August 2015

Finally I've seen one

What with the boys on summer holiday, my wife working, no car for a week. It has been a slow couple of weeks. I did get a few brief visit to the local park and a couple of brief visits to Broadwater Warren. Will do a catch up on that later in the week.
Today however it was a day at Dungeness. I thought that my father-in-law and I were meeting up with the Kent Ornithologists Society (KOS) however I found out later that the day had been changed to next Sunday. Lesson learned there to check it out regularly for updates. But I am so glad we did go down though. Starting at the ARC, Black Terns and White-winged Black Tern (Juv) were spotted fairly easily. There was a flock of about 80 Golden Plovers with a couple of Ruff among them. A couple of Spotted Flycatcher were doing just that near the water tower. Stopped at the coast briefly and got some good views of Gannet and Sandwich Tern. Had lunch at the reserve and had Common Sandpiper and Kingfisher close in while in the centre, Honey Buzzard drifted over as exiting. 3 had not long flown over and there had been a few sightings already today. As we were leaving the reserve a Ospery was being mobbed by 2 crows,
Heading back to the ARC added 2 Wood Sandpipers and excellent Bittern that put on a showfor us before flying into the reeds.

along way from my camera but excellent through the scope.

As we were walking back to the car I noticed something different with a Swallow. I followed it and knew it was a Red-rumped. Me being me had to convince myself that it was, but this was a first for me, a longtime in coming as well. Always had been told that I would know when I saw one and well it actually stood out once I had picked it out. A Red-rump had been seen that morning at the other end of the ARC from where we had been. Finally, hope that won't be another 26 year wait! 
Went to the coast again for a while and got Kittiwake and a very dark Skua leisurely flying past. With Red-crested Pochard, Yellow Wagtail also added it was a decent bird day with 75 species.

Also added to my Dragonfly list. Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) was zooming around, but was curious enough that good good views but it didn't settle. See pics below of some others I saw, some which I haven't been able to id yet. Did wait for 15 minutes for one to settle as I had no clue what it was. It didn't land and I still am unable to id it.
A good day overall and if you know what the dragonflies are please get in touch.
Is one female Red-veined!

this one i think is Common darter

one below is Common blue.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Update and latest

First an update on a photo I took at Broadwater Warren. I sent the photo to Ian Beavis and he identified it as a Willoughbys Leaf-cutter bee, Megachile willughbiella, he said there were 3 similar but because of the location this is what it is. Starting to realise that even with a great book it is going to be very hard.

Megachile willughbiella (Leaf-cutter bee)

Also going back to the 1st, on the local walk the Giant horsefly was a Large Marsh Horsefly. Also saw Shaggy furrow Bee (Lasioglossum villosulum), Wood-carving leaf-cutter (Megachile ligniseca), 2 solitary digger wasps (Cereeris arenaria) and (Lindenius panzeni). Also believe I saw Black-tailed Skimmer but didn't get a chance to photo it.

Moving to the 6th I didn't even know there was a Mini beast safari for my boys. Very interesting and saw loads, when I get the full list I will update. Did get Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) was just focusing on it when it was disturbed and then moved area. Got Small Cooper, a underwing moth (thought I was told a white underwing but not sure). It settled on my bag and unfortunately had a deformed wing by the looks of things.

Small Cooper - child was just about to disturb it

underwing moth

Speckled Wood

A Gall perhaps unfortunately pics didn't come out well. This was 
taken on the walk home.

Really fascinating but totally different if you don't have a expert with you. 
Unfortunately my car won't start so I am limited to what I can do. However it meant I walked to work, so went early and took my camera.  Got lots of interesting insects and have identified one that I am comfortable with.

Digger sand wasp - Ectemnius cephalotes
the markings on this all seem to add up to this species.

Got some other shots but will update later as want to try to add a few names to the photos if possible.

Hopefully get car running soon and then it's time to get some more birding done. Maybe some Stilts, Sandpipers and some seabirds. Hoping also to get a couple more new dragonflies.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Local walk with expert

Quickly going back to my last post I know that it was a pebble prominent, two of the other moths there now identified were Triple spotted Clay and Double-square Spot, and small fan-footed wave. Now got one to id only.

On the 1st went for a Nature walk at Newbars Wood, Pembury.Local expert Ian Beavis was our guide. This is a great site for Golden-ringed Dragonfly and we saw quite a few. A very good sighting and new for site I believe was a Giant Horsefly (Tabanus autumnalis) also had Golden Hoverfly (Callicera aurata). Butterflies we saw were Holly and Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, and my 1st for year Small Copper. Field and Meadow Grasshoppers. Brown Hawker was hawking over the heath. Four-banded longhorn Beetle was cool. Tree and Heath Bumblebee both seen, which puts my bumblebee count quite high for the year. Cinnabar caterpillar on ragwort was nice. Leaf-cutter Bee and 2 different digger wasps, will update later on which ones.

Holly Blue

Digger wasp holes.

Cinnabar caterpillars on ragwort.

Also been to my local park and got a great shot of Speckled Wood and Common Blue butterflies. Yet another unidentified fly, really need to get a book. Also saw a few smaller insects. 

Speckled Wood

Common Blue

Monday, 3 August 2015

Holiday time

Back from holiday. Shepton Mallet at a Christian festival. Didn't do a lot of birding. Did go to Chew Valley lake for a couple of hours and saw Yellow-legged Gull for the year, also saw loads of Pied wagtail, Little Egret, G.C.Grebe and lots of different ducks. While camping heard Tawny Owl on two nights.
Did see 1 Dragonfly at the showground but no pic so will be identifying from the views I had.
Had a few moths, Common Footman being the commonest, also Buff Ermine.

Pebble Prominent  - Notodonta ziczac
I think this is what it is.

Thought it might be a Square-spotted Clay but could also be a 
dart, basically I don't know.

These 2 unknown but will continue to try to id

Looking at other people's photos I feel inadequate but these were taken on my phone. Moths are fascinating but am finding some of them hard to id, will have to get a book on micro moths next and keep trying. 

Got back and then went on another walk with the local expert and visited my local park, all about that in my next blog.