Monday, 26 May 2014

Chasing the prize

A gap between posts as large as this in May can only mean one thing: the men in suits came for us at school. Despite the short half term, an unnerving finish and little opportunity to rest. I awoke early today to empty the Moth trap and for the first time in many weeks felt refreshed and ready to go again. Hopefully Spring has not left me behind.
Sunday the 18th was a warm day, so I went for a short walk along Langley Staithe. I enjoyed watching young Rooks being fed by adults on the marsh, almost as big as their parents now. There was not much other avian interest but the path was great for Butterflies. 2 Wall Brown, 2 Common Blue, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Small Heath- a new species on the patch for me. There were also Common and Azure Damsels on the wing.
An evening walk on Wednesday the 21st yielded a single Wheatear, again at Claxton, again atop the muck piles dredged from the surrounding dykes. My 3rd record this year.
Looking back more recently to Saturday, all of the usual suspects were to be found at Church Marsh and it looked as if migration had ground to a halt. A notable absentee the Garden Warbler has still not been picked up, although an early start will probably pay dividends. New for the year on the Odanata front were a Four-spotted Chaser and Banded Demoiselle. Red Admiral was a new Butterfly for the year.
Had an even better Dragonfly day at Wheatfen yesterday, with Scarce Chaser also on the wing. Some didn't last the day though, for a superb male Hobby appeared completely in control over the reedbed treating me to some excellent flight views and then perched eating his catch.
Checking through my photos, I have captured a lovely immature Scarce Chaser at Church Marsh, too! Any comments or thoughts on species, age, sexing welcome as always. Need to get back into the groove with Dragons.
 Immature Scarce Chaser, Surlingham Church Marsh
 Male Hairy Dragonfly, Surlingham Church Marsh
 Female Banded Demoiselle, Wheatfen
Male Scarce Chaser, Wheatfen

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