Sunday, August 09, 2015

Local early August

the extra time has paid dividends. Not just in more time in the field, but a more relaxed approach, more time to stop and observe, not just tick and move on.

In reverse order ... I returned to the house after a walk in Pishiobury Park to find this on the buddleia

Its a Jersey Tiger, which I believe is spreading out of its South London stronghold, and with a 2011 record for Herts being the first for a while this is still a good find, but should be less scarce in a few years.

I had just returned from a leisurely stroll round Pishiobury Park. It was hot, mid afternoon, and windy, so anything with wings was staying put. It was a day of missed opportunities; a large orange butterfly shot past, too big for a comma. Silver Washed Fritillary? I hung round to try for another glimpse, but it had gone. And then a falcon between the trees. Small, direct, surely a Hobby? But it moved on out of site without a clinching view.

The definate items were predictable. Butterflies - a large number (18) of large whites, a small number (1) of small coppers, 4 "blues", Ringlet, many Gatekeepers, some Speckled Woods and a Red Admiral. There were some bees, a surprising number of queens - what are they doing out now?

Magpie was the commonest bird, but there was a Willow Chiff, two Kestrels, and three Common Buzzards talon grappling.There was also these, doing what they do best.

Born to munch ...
Earlier in the morning I had popped into Pincey Brook on my way top Stortford. Back in the spring there was some decent mud, and I had birds such as Wood Sandpiper, 200 Golden Plover, Shelduck, and Little Egret, quite an impressive list for a flooded inland brook. My heart sank when I saw the field was heavily flooded and the mud gone, but I my worries disappeared when a Creamcrown (prob juv) Marsh Harrier rose from the flood and quartered the area, even diving toward the ground at one stage. A Red Kite appeared and the Harrier flew off toward a neighbouring field, but in its brief time airborne it had put up c50 Lapwing, 2 Teal, and caused some consternation amongst the c40 Greylag Geese.

Yesterday was Rye Meads, an RSPB that has benefited from some recent effort to atrract intersting birds. There were 2 Green Sandpipers at thge Draper Hide, and at the Gadwall Hide a local had identified a juvenile Meditrerranean Gull amongst the 50-100 Black Headed Gulls. He offered to direct me but I took the challenge and ended up finding 2. Here is a very poor shot of one of them. It's the one on the right. Clearly.

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