Magnolia Warbler - Ohio, May 2017

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Cuckmere Haven  17/7/17

A reasonable selection of bits this evening with the following highlights noted. 

Little Ringed Plover - 3

Sanderling - 1

Dunlin - 5

Whimbrel - 3

Hobby - 1 chasing Swallows (very early autumn record) 

Sand Martin - 6


Friday, 14 July 2017

Canvey Island, Essex 14/7/17

After yesterdays successful twitch for finally my first Marsh Sandpiper in the UK at Cliffe Pools in Kent (6 Black-winged Stilts also present), I was back on the motorways today slightly further north in Essex to Canvey Island for yet more Dragonfly action. For years I've been wanting to see the Southern Migrant Hawkers that have colonised certain parts of Essex, and most notably on the delightful(??) island of Canvey. Me and Dad left early and arrived on site just after 7am and soon found our first male Hawker. Due to the cloud cover we only managed to see around 10 males, and while most were settled and showing well, by the end of the morning we mostly saw them hunting along the long ditch. Also present were many Scarce Emerald Damselflies. A great morning out.





 male Southern Migrant Hawker on Canvey Island

Scarce Emerald Damselflies on Canvey Island
















Sunday, 9 July 2017

Ashdown Forest 9/7/17

A couple of hours spent at Old Lodge produced the expected Dragonflies that are photographed below.



 Black Darter - one of my favourite dragonflies
 Small Red Damselfly
 Keeled Skimmer
Emperor egg laying



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Cuckmere Haven 4/7/17

Despite regular visits to the Cuckmere recently, this evening was the first notable session for migrants. The lower water levels on the meanders doing some good as two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers were present. Other common bits were present but most pleasing were the two young Oystercatchers that have finally spread their wings. How birds like these survive on the scrape is a miracle but this is now the second year running of successful fledging.

Totals are:
Little Ringed Plover - 2 juv
Redshank - 2 juv
Dunlin - 1

 recently fledged Oystercatcher - being without a lens currently my only photography is with my phone through my bins.
the meanders looking ideal for Small Red-eyed Damselflies but none this evening. Seaford Head in the backround.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Knepp Estate 26/6/17

Its been a few years since I saw Purple Emperors in Sussex, so I made the effort on what is likely to be the last good day for a while. The Knepp Estate seemed the most reliable, and although its not the greatest place to find them low down, I had several nice views of 13 individuals including one on the ground. The usual other bits seen/heard during the four hours I was present.

On Saturday, a walk in the Cuckmere produced my first Common Sandpiper of the autumn, and the two young Oystercatchers are nearly ready to spread their wings.


Purple Emperor at Knepp Estate

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Ashdown & beyond 18/6/17

Another long hot day out in the Sussex countryside was very successful. I started at a private site where a male Honey Buzzard and male Goshawk flew through, and then the rest of the day was spent on Ashdown Forest catching up on some newly emerged Dragonflies (namely Brilliant Emerald and Keeled Skimmer) and a few different Orchid species, and a bonus singing Wood Warbler. A cone and a flake was also very welcome.


 male Honey Buzzard - click on image to enlarge
Birds Nest Orchid
video
singing Wood Warbler

 Brilliant Emerald - just about make out the incurving anal appendages and the yellow frons. My first perched photo of this species.
 Heath Spotted Orchid

 immature Keeled Skimmer
Early Marsh Orchid










Saturday, 17 June 2017

River Rother 17/6/17

A brilliant morning was spent with Dad watching and photographing these superb Common Clubtail Dragonflies in West Sussex today. With sightings during the week (many thanks Simon and John) we were semi-optimistic in finding one, but to find up to ten individuals and for them to be showing so well was completely unexpected. This was a new species for me which now nearly completes the set for the UK Dragonfly/Damselfly list.




 male Common Clubtails
River Rother