Yesterday news broke of a Purple Heron in a ditch at Claxton. Now, there are quite a few ditches at Claxton and no further details were forthcoming. Not owning a pager, I checked RBA online late in the day and knew I had missed a big patch bird and one which I have been expecting for some time now. I went out in search this morning post-car boot sale. Assuming it was mobile I began at Langley Dyke. Very quiet this morning, but I glimpsed a small bird flick from a wire into a bush, and back again. Surely a Flycatcher. This would be a patch tick whatever the species! I went round the back of the carpark for a better view, and confirmed it is Spotted Flycatcher! Now this seemed to be a different bird to before, as on its back were 2 white downy feathers not present on what was probably an adult seen at distance. This is what patch birding is all about, you just never know!
I had by now almost forgotten about the Heron, but I went to Claxton on auto-pilot. Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler and a female Sparrowhawk over but no Herons.
There is always something to do for our wedding at the moment, and I am finding myself turning down all sorts of offers to bird and socialise this year. I am desperate to get up to the north coast to hunt for butterflies but am having to be content with local wanderings, which I really should not complain about. Debs and I went to Wheatfen yesterday, which was superb for Dragons and Damsels. We saw Emperor, Migrant Hawker, Ruddy Darter and the species below. This may or may not be a Willow Emerald, opinion is split on the forums!