Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Tuesday 30 July 2013

Splash Point & Cuckmere Haven 30/7/13

A better seawatch this morning in a force 4 SW wind with frequent rain. Totals were:

BALEARIC SHEARWATER - 1 west at 07.25
Manx Shearwater - 2 west
Arctic Skua - 1
Turnstone - 1
Dunlin - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 5
Common Scoter - 4
Whimbrel - 1

Afterwards I went down the Cuckmere where the weather was grim. The scrape and patch of mud where the AGP was is now 'flooded' so the only Waders were along the river. Totals are:

Dunlin - 33
Whmbrel - 3

Monday 29 July 2013

Double tick day!! Staffs & Oxon 29/7/13

I set off from Peacehaven at midnight and after a 4 hour journey (plus 1hrs kip) I arrived in Cheshire where the Caspo had roosted the previous evening, but there was no sign, so I shot down to Rudyard Reservoir and thankfully found the CASPIAN TERN alongside some Black-headed Gulls.

A tad distant for the camera, it looked great through the scope and proved to be my 150th (?) Caspian Tern of 2013 after seeing loads in The Gambia, and some in France. Oh well, a good UK tick as they have proved to be pain to catch up with since I've been birding.

Afterwards I stopped of in the Chilterns to catch up with one of the rarest Orchids in the UK, the Slender/Narrow Lipped Helleborine. Another new one for me, I managed to find 4 plus plenty of Violet Helleborines with no flowers yet. The Narrow-lipped were difficult to photograph due to the light, but one was very robust and a real treat to see.

 Caspian Tern
 Rudyard Reservoir, Staffs
 the flowers are held rather pendulous all around the stem.
Size was similar to Broad-leaved Helleborine. (David Lang - Wild Orchids of Sussex)
 the plain, pale green perianth segments are long,
pointed and spreading. When using flash the paler
labellum can be seen. (David Lang - Wild Orchids of Sussex)
the pointed 'tongue' appearance on the labellum were
very distinctive. Though not obvious in the image, when
being viewed the labellum was obviously paler then
the perianth segments. (David Lang - Wild Orchids of Sussex)

Narrow-lipped Helleborine in The Chilterns

Sunday 28 July 2013

Splash Point 28/7/13

A seawatch between 05.45-07.30 produced:

Arctic Skua - 1 dp
Common Scoter - 31
Little Tern - 1
Sandwich Tern - 12
Mediterranean Gull - 1
Guillemot - 2

Saturday 27 July 2013

Seaford Head 27/7/13

Fewer migrants on the Head this morning, however the first returning raptors and Yellow Wagtails were seen.

Despite a distant thunderstorm out at sea, it didn't rain fortunately.

Totals are:

Hobby - 2
Nightingale - 2 (1 ad & 1 juv)
Yellow Wagtail - 2
Whitethroat - 34
Reed Warbler - 1
Willow Warbler - 5
Blackcap - 2

juv Nightingale in Hope Gap

Friday 26 July 2013

Seaford Head 26/7/13

A bit more variety this morning but it was still slow going in what seemed perfect conditions.

Totals are:
Nightingale - 2 croaking in Hope Gap
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 4
Willow Warbler - 1
Whitethroat - 42
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Blackcap - 2
Chiffchaff - 4
Sand Martin - 6
Buzzard - 1
Dunlin - 1 flew over Hope Gap

 Reed Warbler

Thursday 25 July 2013

Norfolk 25/7/13

Went to Norfolk with Jake today and finally caught up with the Crossbills. We had enough after an hour due to the muppets that surrounded us. Some claiming the Two-barred Crossbill when it was actually a juv. Siskin, people who had no idea what a Two-barred Crossbill looked like (a tiny clue in the name) and a guy who was literally running on a Duracell battery.

However our departure luckily coincided with the planes taking off from RAF Lakenheath. We joined the fellow plane spotters and enjoyed the spectacle, and the noise.

Lynford Arboretum

Common Crossbill - 5
Hobby - 1
Siskin - 20

 Two-barred Crossbill - rear end views showed the
extensive white tips to the tertials.

Monday 22 July 2013

Seaford Head 22/7/13

The first few autumn migrants seen on the Head today at long last. It was ridiculously muggy and very sweltering. Totals are:

Nightingale - 3
Whitethroat - 35
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Reed Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Swallow - 11

 Nightingale in Hope Gap
Whitethroat in Hope Gap

Saturday 20 July 2013

Hants & Dorset 19/7/13

A good day with Mick visiting many sites for Butterflies, Orchids and the odd rare bird as well. An extremely hot, but enjoyable day.

New Forest
Bog Orchid - 21
Redstart - 3
Lapwing - 4

Lulworth Cove
Lulworth Skipper - 1
Small Skipper - 5
Large Skipper - 1
Peregrine - 2

Lodmoor RSPB
White-rumped Sandpiper - 1
Great White Egret - 1
Greenshank - 1

Pulpit Inn, Portland Bill
Lulworth Skipper - 5

 Bog Orchid in New Forest
 Lulworth with Portland in the distance
 Mick at Lulworth Cove
Lulworth Skipper

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Rye Harbour 16/7/13

A good morning on the reserve this morning mainly for the hope of seeing some Marsh Helleborines, which would be a new species for me. After good directions from DC I finally found the bunch and was surprised how small they were, and only 2 were fully out. A total of 420 were counted in a relatively small area.

I couldn't find any Roseate Terns but did see:

Green Sandpipers - 3
Greenshank - 2
Common Sandpiper - 1
Cuckoo - 3

Marsh Helleborines at Rye Harbour

Saturday 13 July 2013

Seaford Head 13/7/13

A full circuit covered just to see if there were any signs of any migrants but unfortunately not yet, so I think another week until the start of the autumn coverage. The only birds around today were presumed to be local, apart from the Whimbrel. Totals are:

Whitethroat - 19
Blackcap - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Grey Wagtail - 1 flew over
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Whimbrel - 3

 Whitethroats on S'ford Head
juv. Swallow

Friday 12 July 2013

Cuckmere Haven 10/7/13

A late entry for Wednesday where very little was seen during a late morning visit. A Whimbrel was along the river along with a Dunlin, and a small group of Sand Martins flew strongly south. A handful of Butterflies were seen, best being Dark-green Fritillaries. Plenty of Mullet in the river as well.

A Moth trap that night/morning produced more variety, but no different Hawk Moths than the previous times, though some new ones for me were a Buff Arches and Swallow-tailed Moth.

 Whimbrel along the Cuckmere
 Sand Martin
Swallow-tailed Moth

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Friston & Arlington 9/7/13

Plenty of Broad-leaved Helleborines in Friston Forest, but still yet to flower. In flower however were 30 Burnt Orchids along Charleston Bank, and my first Gatekeeper of the year.

Near Arlington, a single Clouded Yellow and 4 Southern Marsh Orchids, all of which were now in bud. A few White-legged Damselflies along the river as well.

No birds!!

Burnt Orchid along Charleston

Saturday 6 July 2013

Wye, Kent 6/7/13

A brief Orchid visit to Kent with Jake was very successful seeing a total of 24 Late Spider Orchids. Another surprise were the rare Black-veined Moths, of which 2 were seen.

 Late Spider Orchid
Black-veined Moth

Friday 5 July 2013

Ashdown Forest 5/7/13

On the way up to Ashdown I quickly saw and photographed the Lizard Orchid, and on the way back from Ashdown I did exactly the same with the Lesser Butterfly Orchid.

Ashdown wasn't too bad, Dragonfly numbers were low but a good showing of Keeled Skimmers was nice, and also a thin scattering Heath Spotted Orchids and Early Marsh Orchids. The mega news of a Ascension Frigatebird on Islay certainly got me excited and so I spent most of my time organising what to do with Jake, but as I type there has been no further sightings.

Good to see families of Redstarts, Woodlarks and Tree Pipits also.

 Lizard Orchid
 Heath Spotted Orchid
 Keeled Skimmer

 Early Marsh Orchid
Lesser Butterfly Orchid

Thursday 4 July 2013

Cuckmere Haven 4/7/13

Not much as expected but still good to see a couple of migrant Waders on the meanders. The muggy air also put several Small Tortoiseshells on the wing, in what is going to be a very good July for this butterfly.

Totals are:

Little Ringed Plover - 1
Common Sandpiper - 1
Sand Martin - 1
Great Crested Grebe - 1 - on the meanders before flying out to sea.

 I think my first sighting of a Great Crested Grebe on the