Saturday, 17 October 2015

Dungeness visit. Was it a S.T.T?

Was going to go to Norfolk for potentially 2 new birds and 4-5 rare year ticks. Instead did a fairy quick trip to Dungeness. About 4 and a half hours there. On the way I checked out Scotney GP and had a Curlew as well as a flock of Barnacle Geese with 2 Snow Geese amongst them, not sure about these birds as they always seem to be around in winter months. I then moved onto the ARC, hoping for some waders but the water level was too high. Did see one of my favourite ducks though, Pintail. My 1st Fieldfares for this winter as well as Chiffchaff and lovely Marsh Harriers over.
Next went to the RSPB reserve. There were 2 Black Redstarts on top and around the main centre building and toilets. That was my first year tick for the day, my next one was Ring Ouzel, flying across the access track when leaving the reserve. Added the always appreciated Tree Sparrow by the entrance at Boulderwell farm.
Before I got back to the car a report came through of a Short-toed Treecreeper on the west side of the trapping area, heard only. So thought I would check it out, thought there might be some other birds around as well. Walking along on the west side a bird flew across the path and into a low tree, it was a bit ahead of me but it looked like a Treecreeper and it did a small call when it got into the tree. I saw it move but very very briefly, and that was it didn't see it again. Was it a Short-toed, I had seen one at Dungeness years ago and knew that identifying by sight was nigh on impossible. I had to get home but very thankful that I have seen one before otherwise that would be very frustrating.

the tree it flew into

the path i choose

Trying to get photos of all the birds I have seen including the 
common ones.


area for Great crested Newts - looking really good now compared
to when they first set it up.

59 species for the day, 2 year ticks and a good little visit.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Latest sightings

On the 8th I went to Broadwater Warren again. It was a excellent bird day, with 21 species being seen. No new ones though. Apart from Peacock butterfly (the only photo I got) there are still Common Darter and Brown Hawkers around.
The Bird list though was Robin, Crow, Green Woodpecker, Yellowhammer (inc some young birds), Goldfinch (5 flying over), Tree Pipit (still 2), Herring Gull over, Woodpigeon, a few Jay, Great spotted Woodpecker, a flock of 9 Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Magpie, 2 Mistle Thrush, Greenfinch (inc 2 juvs), 2 Wrens, Blackbird, Buzzard, a gorgeous posing Woodlark, Chaffinch and Jackdaw.
Am hoping to get Crossbill there soon and have a good site for potential Fieldfare and Redwing sightings.

The gorgeous Peacock that just posed nicely.

I suppose I would have to say I twitched a tree. It is in my local park and have seen it before but hadn't even thought what type it was. Have now been told it is a Caucasian Wingnut tree (Pterocarya fraxinifolia) which is apparently not common over here. It loves moist, almost boggy soil were it can get plenty of light. Which is exactly where it is growing.

Wingnut tree

Couldn't help it. In my local park and the red on it's wings
was so nice I just had to take this picture.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Another one and there could be more.

Found another caterpillar on the doormat. This time the photo shows it with it's head out. This species will change its appearance to look like a snake when it is threatened, or sees a bird interested. It is really fascinating, however my wife is a bit freaked out by it.


Once I had seen me and i went to move it, it had already started
to look different.

Put this on twitter as was told there is probably a willowherb or fuchsia nearby and they are looking for somewhere to pupate. Those two now in my back garden. Apparently though there could be as many as 50 in one batch!

Weird creature

Well, talk about wildlife on your doorstep. This fat caterpillar was on the front door mat this morning. Looked weird and itkept moving as if looking at us. It is of course a Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar that is now in my back garden under the bush we have out there.

First question was, what is it? I first thought death head.

Below a photo of the moth it will turn into. This taken earlier in year.

Friday, 2 October 2015

A mistake and a new Warbler for Broadwater

Oops. I have come to the conclusion that the last Blog post I did I must have not pressed publish as it is not on there. Oh well these things happen.
Going back to my last visit I did have Brown Hawker and Common Darter, also had another that I thought was a Common Darter but because it is a long way away I think it is too big to be that.

I really have been taking too many dragonfly pictures, must reign that in.

We then had the eclipse of the super moon. Took loads of photos, they looked good on the camera but when I put them onto the laptop they didn't look amazing. 

Today, 2nd October. I again went to Broadwater Warren and I really am having some good luck at the moment. Lovely Buzzards, a small mixed flock of Swallows and House Martin, a favourite of mine Treecreeper, Coal Tit and a new one Whinchat. However when I was approaching the Decoy pond I noticed 2 warblers fly into a tree, they kept popping into different clumps of foliage, 1 showed itself well and it was a Chiffchaff, I assumed the other was also a Chiffchaff until it also hopped onto a branch. The very bright white underside stood out and the yellow supercillium could be seen well. The Chiffchaff left the tree and only the Wood Warbler remained, it continued to disappear into foliage and then appear again briefly before it also eventually flew off. 18 species of bird was a good haul. Also had this lovely spider below, the other insect picture and what I think was a Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum), this landed on me briefly then dropped to the floor and then took off. Overall a good day I thought.

some type of Miridae maybe 

Until next time then, and will remember to press publish on this one.