1-30 June 2009 blog diary and sightings

Ruddy Darter MJM

Emperor Brown Hawker 30 June 2009 Lumix MJMcGill 009Brown Brown Hawker, WWT, MJM

Emperor Brown Hawker 30 June 2009 Lumix MJMcGill 023Female Emperor ovipositing MJM

Emperor Brown Hawker 30 June 2009 Lumix MJMcGill 006

29-30 June 2009 Still great insect weather, temperatures this weeks heatwave of up to 30 c has been good for butterflies and dragonflies. New birds include a breeding plumage, blackish form male Ruff at WWT today.

Shoveler brood WWT.

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Baby Water Vole, WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre MJM

Water Vole 29 June 2009 Lumix MJMcGill 013

28 June 2009 The WWT landrover safari’s were very productive again today. The very warm weather made it a great day for insects. My first 2 Brown Hawkers of the year and 6 Marbled Whites. A Water Vole in the 100 Acre and at the Centre entrance wiith three young were appreciated by many. Also noted today a 1st summer and adult Yellow-legged Gull, Hobby, 2 Shoveler broods, 12 Green Sandpiper, 50 Black-tailed Godwit, 90 Redshank including 2 fledged juveniles and a fluffy juvenile in the Top New Piece. Cuckoo and Kingfishers at the Kingfisher Hide. Stacks of dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies of many species. On the estuary a Whimbrel, 100 Curlew, 200 Shelduck and thousands of gulls feeding in the mud.

Brown Hawker, WWT South Finger near the new dragonfly pond.

Brown Hawker 29 June 2009 Coolpix MJMcGill 001

First summer Yellow-legged Gull

Brown Hawker 29 June 2009 Coolpix MJMcGill 013

27 June 2009 A few damselflies about the garden and a chaser sp.

26 June 2009 A walk out at Frampton in the torrential rain produced singing Common and Lesser Whitethroat prior to the deluge, breeding plumage Spotted Redshank, Redshank pair with young and Lapwing with young at Saul Warth and a lot of water. A Common Whitethroat was singing adjacent to my garden.

25 June 2009 Generally numbers still building at WWT, six Green Sandpiper, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, a Dunlin, 9 Redshank and 40 Lapwing were on the Top New Piece but were eclipsed by a singing Quail that was clearly audible from the Zeiss Hide. Many visitors are seeing and photographing Otter from the Kingfisher Hide where Cuckoo and Whitethroat are also on territory. I may have glimpsed a Lesser Emperor at work today. At least three pairs of Common Tern are now nesting on the 100 Acre.

Had a couple of days off at home (except for covering the 1850-2220 period at WWT on safari/bar-b-q), highlight was a Spitfire performing stunts over the garden, due to 350mph speeds I never got a decent shot of this iconic aircraft with it’s beautiful sound.

Spitfire MK 4? in D Day landing livery, Whitminster.

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23 June 2009 The safari was excellent at WWT Slimbridge this evening, a very warm evening, thousands on Meadow Browns on the wing, my first Southern Hawker of the year, Emperors out in the dark!, 40 Sand Martin and 30 Starling coming into roost, Barn Owl hunting at sunset, a great Severn Bore etc etc.

May Hill, The Severn Estuary and Barn Owl MJM

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Barn Owl and Fretherne Sluice in the distance.

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22 June 2009 RDH and myself ringed 18 juvenile Black-headed Gulls on the South Lake late in the afternoon. The Common Terns on South Lake are nesting on the small pier I built to gravel the island over a couple of years ago. An Oystercatcher also had a nest with one damaged egg in it. The Bottom New Piece flood had 30 Black-tailed Skimmers over it this afternoon. On the tide, six Yellow-legged Gulls (second summers and adults)were the highlight at WWT today.

Pyramidal and Bee Orchids WWT Slimbridge June 2009 MJM

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Female Tufted Duck and young WWT Slimbridge MJM

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Common Redshank WWT Slimbridge June 2009 MJM

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10-21 June 2009 Not many posts lately but still plenty going on locally among the breeding birds. A Snipe was a very intriguing record from WWT today, maybe a breeder? At least two possibly three broods of Shoveler at work today made me very happy. One brood contains 10 ducklings and are very well grown.  Tufted Duck are now hatching young everywhere, another highlight of the summer and it is time for the orchids.

9 June 2009 Our breeding waders are always a highlight.

Lapwing chick MJM

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8 June 2009 Another look at the breeding plumage waders at WWT which roosted and fed very near to Middle Point hide at low tide. Now 5 Grey Plover, a Red Knot, 3 Turnstone (all first summers), the Curlew Sandpiper which is a first summer and a small flock of Ringed Plover including many first summers and a juvenile and c 40 Dunlin.

First summer Turnstone MJM

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First summer Curlew Sandpiper MJM

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Curlew Sanderling!

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Sanderling MJM

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7 June 2009 A birdwatch morning at WWT focussing on waders was very good, 4 Grey Plover (two in fine breeding plumage), a Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, 15 Sanderling and Dunlin and Ringed Plover all in breeding plumage.

6 June 2009 A wet day! almost forgot what they are like.

5 June 2009 Went to Ashleworth Ham again, the Redstarts were showing well along the road and Cuckoo singing. Next stop Cannop Ponds and brook with my target being the Golden-ringed Dragonfly, we found 4-5 and saw them resting, feeding, patrolling territories and even ovipositing in the Cannop Ponds. A family of Grey and Pied Wagtail were around the stoneworks. At Lydney Lakes I saw my first Tufted Ducklings of the year (3). A look at Saul Warth and Townfield Lake did not produce much out of the ordinary. News of a shrike sp at Coombe Hill today GWT and the Rosefinch seen again at Ashleworth Ham GWT on Wednesday shows that birds are still around/arriving.

The magnificent Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Cannop Stoneworks, MJMcGill.

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2-4 June 2009 Lots of dragonfllies locally. A roundup in images follows, also a Bee swarm at WWT was nearly collected by a Bee Keeper but they did not want to go in the box.

Hairy Dragonfly, WWT 100 Acre MJM

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Broad-bodied Chaser, WWT MJM

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Black-tailed Skimmer, Saul Warth

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Scarce Chaser, WWT Bull Ground, MJM

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Four-spotted Chaser, Forest of Dean, MJM

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1 June 2009 Up at 0440 to get to WWT for what ended up as four live and one recorded appearance for the BBC news. The Painted Lady invasion was the topic and the hot dry starts to the day certainly helped.

31 May 2009 A long day at WWT with the bird highlight being two Red Kites over the 100 Acre. I left work at 1800 and went straight to search for the Ashleworth Ham GWT  Common Rosefinch with NRS, PJT and RGB but our effort went unrewarded. 

Red Kites over the WWT 100 Acre, 31 May 2009
Note the primary moult.

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