Monday, 2 July 2012

The End Of The Summer Break

Well I'm sure any blog viewers I have left are fed up of that baby Barn Owl they keep seeing when they click to look on this blog! On the bright side, it could have been something less cute, like a photo of me!!

Anyway, yes, that was my 'unofficial summer break' from blogging - back to normal (whatever that is!) now. I know - can I describe the last month as being summer!??? Well my calendar says it was.

My first post back is going to start with a bit of weirdo! This afternoon Fraser was at the Field Studies Centre, where there is an Egyptian Grasshopper on show at the moment...

Sorry for the picture quality, this photo was taken through a fish tank!

It doesn't really look like much in the above photo, but adding this 1p to the picture should show why it is pretty cool to look at...

It's bloody huge!!!

It was found about a week ago in Colyton, apparantly on a house roof! Although it arriving in a packet of fruit/veg/salad is probably more likely, with all this Saharan sand dust carpeting vehicles all over the county within the past week - could it not maybe have arrived with this? Personally I don't see why not - especially if it really was found on a house roof.

Whilst on insects, I should just mention my first catch of over 100 moths for this year, in the garden on the evening of 25th/26th June. I won't list the whole lot, but the big guns were represented by 3 Elephant and a Poplar Hawk, my first immigrant of the year with a Silver Y, numbers thanks to Heart and Dart (47), and other new species for the year with Maiden's Blush, Large Yellow Underwing (4), Heart and Club (5), Common Wainscot, Snout and this (very fine) Herald...

A fine moth - The Herald

Silver Y - hopefully 2012 will prove a better year for this immigrant species (and the rest!) than 2011 was!

Back to birds then, well I haven't been out and about much at all. Mostly because it has been June, but also because I haven't (as usual!) had much time.

I did visit Black Hole Marsh late Saturday (30th) with Jess, a lone Common Sandpiper on the Estuary, and the first juvenile Black-headed Gull of the 'autumn' were the only 'highlights'...

So where did you come from?

Today Black Hole Marsh offered a Black-tailed Godwit (as my Twitter followers will have seen - or as you will have done if you've been watching my Twitter feed at the top right hand corner of this blog), and a Greenshank which circled over the marsh before flying south and appearing to land on the Estuary.

After the fog had cleared I attempted a sea watch - seven Manxies later and I gave up!

As well as little birding, I haven't done all that much ringing. A short session last week gave me 15 House Sparrows (always great to handle) at Jessie's, and later in the day back home my first 3J Bullfinch of the year, and this beast...

The second Wood Pigeon I've ringed in the garden

Several weeks ago I ringed a brood of six Swallows near Beer, late last week they looked like this...

Almost too big!

At the weekend, five birds successfully fledged the nest. So great to hear they have done so well considering the awful weather!

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