Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Someone left the gate open......

....and cows left their mess, all over the joint. Added to that the RSPB lads doing some sterling work clearing scrub, I was not expecting too much in the way of birds.
A much needed patch tick arrived on the lagoon, a Common Sandpiper calling had presumably been feeding out of sight. After a few bobs and a typically low flight path across the lagoon, it was gone.
Also of interest was a group of Warblers flicking in and out of a bush, mainly Chiffchaff, but in amongst them was a Lesser Whitethroat. I do not have any evidence of breeding for this species on the site, so presumably this bird was feeding up and moving through. Other bits and bobs included a Jay, pair of Great--crested Grebe and a chick, and teal numbers building up (note- must count the ducks!).
I photographed this pair of Odonata 'in the moment'. Are they Common Darter? If not, why not?

Popped to Happisburgh this afternoon after a late report of a Greenish Warbler in pines behind the cricket pavilion. I clearly need to be quicker out of the blocks. A flyover Yellow Wagtail was welcome, but not exactly what I came for! I stopped at various patches of scrub and horse paddocks on the way out of the village, all the right habitat; no birds save for more Whitethroat, feeding up for the journey ahead.


  1. Yep they are Common Darters. Its a good photo, so you can see a range of supporting features:

    Male colour - orangey-red (they get redder than this, the deeper red line in the middle suggests a young male still acquiring colour). Ruddy are deep("blood" is the normal description) red.
    Male shape - Not certain from the photo, but Common have straight abdomens, Ruddy go in and out ("waisted")
    Female thorax colour - Two greeny stripes (Ruddy is all yellow).
    Leg colour - black with yellow stripes. Ruddy are all black.
    Eyes - Pale green bottom halves. Ruddy have darker faces all over.

  2. James- I recommend you produce a fieldguide. Thanks!

  3. We did eventually get the cow back in the field after she ran past a few times! Apparently if you'd have been there at 7am there would have been a total of 17 cattle on the path running about, they eventually settled in a very nicely manicured garden nearby, so glad they weren't ours!

  4. You wouldn't get that kind of thing at Strumpshaw! Not what you expect from a quiet day of scrub clearance.