26-28 July 2013 Back in Dorset for the weekend on another hot but also showery few days. A boat trip to Harry’s Rocks off Ballard Down was quiet for birds other than flyover Mediterranean Gulls and terns. Passing the Brownsea lagoon it was clear that a large flock of Dunlin had arrived, I saw non the week before. A stroll on the local heath turned out to be productive. A singing Dartford Warbler, a pair of Hobbies mobbing a Buzzard, Green Woodpecker and Yellowhammer were all seen well. Hundreds of Grayling butterflies were along the paths. My sister in laws garden had vocal, Nuthatch, Siskin and Green and Great spotted Woodpeckers with juveniles as well as calling nocturnal Tawny Owl feet from the bedroom windows.
25 July 2013 Highlights of the day at WWT Slimbridge were the two juvenile Wood Sandpipers and locating a reserve first Essex Skipper.
WOOD SANDPIPER one of two juveniles present, Tack Piece.
20-21 July 2013 A trip to East Dorset with a trip around Poole Harbour and to Brownsea Island NT. I was so pleased to get to the hides and among the terns depsite it being very painful walking. The Dorset Wildlife Trust lagoon was as ever an interesting place to be, full of action with the tern colonies but also variety. I did not locate any Roseate Terns but have seen them here before. A breeding plumaged Sanderling, a few Greenshank and 7 Spotted Redshank including breeding plumaged birds were present among the egrets, Cormorants and other commoner waders.
COMMON TERN, Brownsea Island and Poole Harbour
I had two evening strolls on a local heath and was rewarded with some close up and personal Nightjar experiences. The hot, still night was ideal for searching for this species.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL second summer with Black-headed Gull on Studland South Beach, Dorset. Dozens of them could be found in this area. This bird is ringed.
12-19 July 2013
SPOONBILL on South Lake, taking a rest in the heatwave.
An afternoon in the Cannop Valley, Forest of Dean produced over five Silver washed Fritillary. Plenty of Siskin were about and other woodland birds.
SILVER WASHED FRITILLARY
RUFF on the Rushy, one of two present around the scrapes.
LARGE WHITES on Severn estuary mud.
11 July 2013 A session out on the reserve at WWT Slimbridge doing a few dragonfly transects in the Bull Ground and some spotting in the 100 Acre. We noted a high number of species of odonata including 3 Ruddy and 3 Common Darter, 7 Emperor, 16 Black-tailed Skimmer, 3 Scarce Chaser, 4 Four spotted Chaser, 5 Hairy Dragonfly, 1 Brown Hawker, 40 Azure, 340 Common Blue and 1400 Blue-tailed Damselfly and 3 Banded Demoiselle. Best of all was my first and the reserve’s second Golden-ringed Dragonfly (found by Dave Paynter).
10 July 2013
PERCH and ROACH in the grounds at WWT Slimbridge. I was rather pleased with how showy this shoal of fish were, not something I see too often.
EURASIAN SPOONBILL at WWT Slimbridge. This individual has been present for a couple of weeks, perhaps the bird that has summered before. Below a series of images I collected whilst it was active. I was particularly impressed with it’s threat display, a new piece of behaviour in the field for me.