Monday, 16 July 2018

Back in Black Hole

Over the weekend I made several visits to BHM and there were good numbers of Common Sandpiper, Redshank and a few Blackwit. 4 was the peak count for both Little Ringed Plover & Dunlin. Several Mediterranean Gulls were about with juveniles outnumbering adults. Water Rails and Barn Owl showed from Coly Common hide where three Whimbrel loitered among 40+ Curlew. Fair numbers of hirundines & Swifts too. Autumn's getting going so an interesting few weeks ahead we hope...

Monday, 9 July 2018

Dorset Stuff:Portland

Bee Orchid, Portland, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
The first time I saw Bee Orchids (many years ago) I was surprised that they were so small (see comparison with human hand). "What's all the fuss about?" may have been my response back then. But now I get it; there were loads of people walking by, completely oblivious to their presence. Even for the experienced amateur naturalist they take a bit of effort to spot. But when you get your eye in, you start to find several in a small area and marvel at the fact that they are smaller than most of the bees they imitate. I don't often feature plants on this blog (that's Karen Woolley's territory!) but these turned out to be exceptional.
Rock Pipit, Portland, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
I've also become a bit of a Rock Pipit fan. They are more co-operative for photography than Water, Tree or Meadow and will often feed within yards of us humans. They almost rival Robins for being confiding.

Rock Pipit, Portland, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
Rock Pipit, Portland, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
Even the Jackdaws were friendly...
Jackdaw, Portland, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
AND there was a plant that doesn't photosynthesise. Broomrape I believe...
Broomrape, Portland, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
So it's not dead; it just parasitises other plants and therefore lacks chlorophyll. But what am I doing?! The plants and insects are taking over my blog! Better get back down to Black Hole Marsh I reckon. We did have a seawatch off the bill that day and enjoyed decent views of Manxies, Razorbills, Guillemots and Kittiwakes. I've probably forgotten one or two species it's taken so long to post this. At least the photographs give us a record of past bird-days, don't they?

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Dorset stuff : Abbotsbury

Common Tern, Abbotsbury, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
Whooper Swan, Abbotsbury, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
Common Tern, Abbotsbury, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
Copyright TDW
Med Gull 1st Summer, Abbotsbury, June '18 (Copyright T D Wright)
A lift into Dorset last month gave me the chance to clock a few different species. I'd not been to Abbotsbury for a long time so enjoyed the walk round. Nice selection of terns, gulls and wildfowl.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Colyton, 03/07/18 (Copyright T D Wright)
Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Colyton 03/07/18 (Copyright T D Wright)
Although I've seen HH before (and in Colyton too) I've never had the camera handy until yesterday. So I'm glad to be able to supply pics this time but still feel frustrated by the lack of quality. If only it had performed for longer I might have achieved the perfect shot. Oh well, back to the World Cup...

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Damselfly sp.

Damselfly sp., Borrow Pit, 06/05/2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Wonder if the Garganey ate it?, Borrow Pit, 06/05/2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Before finding the drake Garganey at Borrow Pit early in May, I photographed this damselfly which I still can't make up my mind about. It appears to have white pterostigma (or pseudo-pterostigma) which made me think of female demoiselles. However, it seemed too small and knowing the amount of variation within blue damselfly species I started to think of them. It's not apparent from these pics but I think I recall seeing a reddish tint to its eyes.( It's almost a month ago now so is possibly a casualty of my limited computing opportunities due to work commitments and the fact that EDDC's library computers are often not working when I visit them). I'm still not sure what I had though! Can any damsel experts help me out with the I.D. ? Comments welcome...
Damselfly sp., Borrow Pit, 06/05/18 (Copyright T D Wright)
Damselfly sp., Borrow Pit, 06/05/2018 (Copyright T D Wright)

Broad Bodied Chaser

On Bank Holiday Monday, I finished work early and decided to cycle down to Black Hole Marsh as it's often calmed down from the weekend rush by Monday evening. From Island Hide there were no new waders but still Barwit and Grey Plover...

Grey Plover, BHM & Axe Estuary, May 2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Barwits & Dunlin, BHM, May 2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Anyhow, I decided to cycle back up to Colyford Common to look from the hide for any waders there. Nothing much yet as no water on the scrape but I struck lucky as the blue flash which made me hit my brakes was not a bird but a dragonfly - a Broad Bodied Chaser! A Coly Common first for me...
Broad Bodied Chaser, Colyford Common, 28/05/2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
A cracking male too! It repeatedly flew from this perch but always returned to it so I was able to use maximum zoom and still get reasonable shots of it. I then moved back and watched it through bins for a bit before realising that I needed to head for home as these early starts for work require a good night's sleep. I was loath to leave it though; I've waited a long time for a moment like this one.
Broad Bodied Chaser, Coly Common, 28/05/18 (Copyright T D Wright)
Broad Bodied Chaser, Coly Common, 28/05/18 (Copyright T D Wright)

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

BBC

Broad-Bodied Chaser, Colyford Common LNR (Copyright TDW)