Thursday, 28 July 2011

Tundry Pond (26/07/11)

Followed up on a report of a Lesser Emperor but no luck - however, my first 3 Brown Hawkers of the year as well as some Red-eyed Damselflies.  A Spotted Flycatcher was flycatching by the boathouse and a eclipse Wigeon was in the Mallard flock.

Dungeness (23/7/11)

No sign of any Lesser Emperors despite lots of searching, the only highlight was about 10 Porpoises of Dungeness power station and a Pectoral Sandpiper on the ARC pit.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Fleet Pond (17/07/11)

As a Wood Sandpiper had been reported from the scrape for the last 2 days I decided to go and have a look.

I parked at the end of Chestnut Grove and scoped for a scrape - I could only see an adult Yellow-legged Gull perched on one of the posts in the pond.

I then walked around to Sandy Bay where there were a few Egyptian Geese and then onto the picnic site where I found the scrape, although it was difficult to see all of it.  At the northern end I finally located the sandpiper and as I got my scope onto it a Moorhen took a dislike to it and flushed it left.

I then searched for it again but it wasn't until the heavens opened that I found the bird preening at the southern end in the reeds.  As I and another couple watched it, it suddenly flew off.

Based on the brown spots on the back and diffuse grey brown mottling on the breast I believe it was a juvenile bird.

I dropped into Sandy Bay back on the way to the card and the sandpiper was feeding quite close on the muddy area in the bay. These are where these photos were taken.

Just as I reached the car a Little Egret flew off.

Daventry Reservoir (13/07/11)

As soon as I looked at Birdguides I saw that a Greater Yellowlegs had been seen at the reservoir. I immediately jumped in the car and drove to Northamptonshire.

On arrival I paid my £2 and then proceeded to the reservoir and immediately scoped the bird. It was indeed Greenshank like with yellow orange legs that were muddied, strong streaking on the breast and an obvious eye-ring. I did notice quite a lot of white on the back when it stood preening but not having read up on the identification did I spot a problem with it.

I took a few snaps and then headed home. On arriving home I looked at my identification guides and saw that Greater Yellowlegs doesn't have white running up the back. Also one guide said that some Greenshanks can have yellowish legs. Alarms were ringing so I got onto the web and found out that indeed the bird had been re-identified as a odd looking Greenshank - bugger, all that way for a Greenshank!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Dorothy Tubb (27th February 1942 - 21st June 2011)

Mum & me in Kenya 2005

Tragically my mum died of cancer at St Barnabas Hospice (Worthing) on the 21st June.
She was a brilliant artist (see attached picture), great cook and an admirer of nature (which is probably where I get my love of wildlife, and particularly birds, from). Above all though she will be remembered as a lovely mum and wife to my dad, Laurie.
In her final days she was taken care of very well at St Barnabas' and they are always looking for donations:
She was buried at the Sustainability Centre at East Meon in a very moving ceremony, in the woods that she so loved (
Love you mum, goodbye, xxx

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Ober Water (3rd July 2011)

Based on Paul Winters recommendation (Bird Forum) I explored the water east of the A35 and managed to see at least 3 adult male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies.
Also in the area:
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (5)
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Small Red Damselfly
Large Red Damselfly
Beautiful Demoiselle
Keeled Skimmer
White-legged Damselfly (8)
Azure Damselfly
Broad-bodied Chaser (1)
Also 2 Little Egrets flew over and a family of Redstarts were flying around

Saturday, 2 July 2011

New Forest (26th June 2011)

Another trip to Ober Water to try and find Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies but not much luck.
The weather started misty and warm but by lunchtime was clear and very hot.
I did see a fair selection of other dragonflies including:
Azure Damselfly - 1
Keeled Skimmer - several, mostly tenerals
Small Red Damselfly - 3
Large Red Damselfly - 6
Southern Damselfly - c30
Broad-bodied Chaser
Beautiful Demoiselle
Birds included a fly-over Hobby, male Redstart and a very showy Woodlark singing over my head.