Monday, 17 July 2017

Finding Emerald

I enjoyed another mid afternoon wander around Lower Bruckland Ponds today looking for dragonflies and butterflies. Was really hoping to bump into the Lesser Emperor again but no luck with that, although I did have some luck as I found my first patch, and I think the first patch, Emerald Damselfly

It's a very widespread species, just not one we get here. And as I haven't seen one for a number of years I had forgotten just how beautiful they are. It's body was just like the colour (iridescence included) of a Demoiselle, with a surprising amount of blue on the side of its thorax and head, a delicately slightly pinched in abdomen and amazing tear-dropped shaped wings. Such a beautiful insect. I just wish it hadn't flown off just as my camera was focusing on it! I will certainly drop in there again this week in case it sticks around, I would love to get a pic.

It seems to be the best year for a long time for Small Red-eyed Damselflies here. I'm sure that's simply down to much fewer dabbling ducks on site, resulting in far more surface vegetation...



I also saw my first two Southern Hawkers of the year, along with two Golden-ringed Dragonflies...



There was nothing unusual among the as ever excellent numbers of butterflies, but here's another underwing shot for you, and today it's a Red Admiral...



And now to birds. Well since my last blog post I have managed to miss two patch Great White Egrets. This morning Ian Mc had one fly in off the sea and appear to land on the beach (although there was no further sign), and three days ago one appeared on BirdGuides for Seaton Marshes just after midday, but no one saw that one again either.  They can be ever so slippery for such large white birds!

Waders continue to move through slowly. On Thursday 13th I had a Greenshank, six Dunlin, one  Whimbrel and 76 Curlew (a big sudden increase) on the Estuary. Tonight there were at least three Whimbrel present along with a decent scattering of Common Sandpipers. The water levels are looking better on Black Hole Marsh again now so expect more sightings from here in the coming days and weeks.  Med Gull passage seems to have slowed down a bit on the Estuary, although they are still trickling past offshore, with four flying in from the south west on Thursday morning.

A walk around the wetlands yesterday morning didn't show much in the way of water birds, but overhead it was wonderful to watch a flock of about 50 screaming Swifts feeding. Whilst watching them I realised that within a matter of weeks they will all be gone, so I decided to watch them some more...



A Hobby zipped through south and in the bushes two Willow Warblers made their presence known by calling. It was great to hear that call again, although on the other hand it's a bit sad when you notice just how little bird song there is now, in the last couple of weeks it has really quietened down.  Proper autumn is looming...

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