Friday, 19 August 2016

A scattering of migrants heralds the start of the birder's Autumn.

Although we are still enjoying some excellent summer weather in East Anglia, a run of easterly winds and a few migrants making landfall signals that Autumn is underway for the birder. On the 17th I headed to Caister early morning for my now usual circuit at this time of year. Beginning at the golf course, I picked up 2 Whinchat and 5 Wheatear. This boded well, but was infact the best of the migrants today. Caister north dunes gave up a single Whinchat and Wheatear, and many Common Blue Butterflies, which seem to be having a good time of it. With time in the bank, I headed to Winterton South dunes but could only pick up a Chiffchaff here, the Grayling and Small Heath Butterflies stealing the show. Summer hanging on, but Autumn more than knocking.

That evening, I took the usual route down to Claxton Marshes and my good (ish) fortune continued- at least 2 Purple Hairstreak were in the Oaks, a very good local tick. Out on the marshes, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel were hunting, and a Reed Warbler was still feeding a late brood. Corvids have begun to group together, forming smaller satellite roosts around the parish. A Hobby flew over on my way back to the house.

Perhaps of most interest was this photo snapped of a pair of Emerald Damselfly species. I thought the pairing looked interesting, but genuinely wasn't sure exactly what specie/s I had seen. On Twitter, folk have gone from Common Emerald pair, mixed Pair of Willow and Common, and most recently 2 males! Not being the most experienced with either, I intend to email the photo to BDS and perhaps in due course Atropos? Thanks to all for their input with this, and if anyone reading the blog wishes to have a say, please feel free.


  1. Well, The lower insect is Willow based on both the pterostigma and the spur on the side of the thorax. Equally the upper insect can't be Willow as it has prunescence and the pterostigma is solid. It's most likely Common Emerald given the location. At least that's my best guess.

  2. Appreciate your observations, thanks.