Sunday, 22 June 2014

Back on the Patch a surprise is in store

Sunday June 22 is not a date which would inspire me to think I would find a fourth for the patch, but that is exactly what happened.

As it was a hot sunny morning I started by trying to locate insects by the dragonfly pools. I had just spotted an Emerald Damselfly, when from the reedbed beyond came the unmistakable reeling of a Grasshopper Warbler. I say unmistakable, but I must admit that the fact the sound appeared to be coming from the reeds did worry me a bit. But it did sound like a Gropper.

I spent about an hour trying to see the bird, without success. Actually I suspect it was singing from the long vegetation beyond the reedbed, and since getting home I have listened to Grasshopper Warbler and Savis' (the cause of my slight concern), and am happy it was the former.

Eventually I gave up and went back to getting insect shots. Emperor Dragonflies are now on the wing, and I also saw plenty of Four Spotted Chasers and a late Broad-bodied Chaser.

Emperor Dragonfly
The Emperors were very hard to photograph as they spent long periods on the wing. While trying to get into a position in the nettles to take a shot of the Emperor shown above, I emerged to find a caterpillar on my jeans. I have looked it up at home and have concluded it was a Peacock.

Peacock caterpillar
I carefully allowed the caterpillar to return to the nettles and continued searching for mini-beasts.

Meadow Brown
There are now plenty of Meadow Browns out along with many Large Skippers, Small Heaths, and about six Marbled Whites which unfortunately wouldn't settle.

The pool and flash contained no surprises although I did take my one bird shot near the latter.

Green Woodpecker
I'm not sure if it was the heat, or the fact it was feeding on ants that caused it to pose with its bill open. More insects followed.

A newly emerged Common Darter
Caterpillars (not sure which moth)
Mother Shipton - a day-flying moth
I returned to the dragonfly pools and again heard the Grasshopper Warbler, but it had moved and was now in or behind the hedge between the pool field and the barns. I still couldn't see it though.

Evening update: Jon Yardley and Mark Islip heard the Grasshopper Warbler this evening and also had a returning Green Sandpiper at the Flashes.

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