Sunday, 11 June 2017

Sunday June 11

A morning of sunny intervals with a rather brisk south-westerly breeze.

Although June can be a bit of a struggle, bird-wise, there is often something to lift the day. This morning that moment was heralded by Dave performing a strange set of hand gestures as he tried to indicate to me that a Kingfisher was not only present, but showing well for once.

Adult male Kingfisher
To give a little context. This was the second this year, the previous one being heard only during March. We normally see the odd Kingfisher here from July to about September, but they usually see us before we see them. This one was clearly unphased by our proximity and even caught what looked like a cranefly when it dipped into the pool and then landed even closer (but partially obscured by vegetation) before returning to its previous perch.

Until this incident I had been struggling to get clear shots of insects in the swaying grassland, and the bird sightings had been restricted to the usual species. However, it was occasionally possible to find a sheltered spot and a number of interesting insects were spotted.

Meadow Brown
Butterfly sightings included the first Meadow Browns of the year, and several Large Skippers, Small Heaths, and Speckled Woods. Moths included a Straw Dot and the first migrant Silver Y of the year.

Silver Y
Not many dragonflies were on the wing because of the annoying breeze, but I still managed to see male Common Blue Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle, my first female Common Emerald Damselfly of the year, and a particularly well marked Four-spotted Chaser which was also my first this year.

Four-spotted Chaser
Emerald Damselfly
As usual there were numerous other insects to admire. Here is a selection.

Roesel's Bush Cricket apparently egg-laying (or pooing)
A Longhorn Beetle called Rutpela maculata
Finally, a couple of birds. A calling Red-legged Partridge and a juvenile Coot which resurfaced in the dragonfly ponds from under a mat of algae making itself look rather ridiculous.

Other birds noted included singing Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, recently fledged Common Whitethroats, about 20 Swifts, and a Little Owl.

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