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Thursday, 31 July 2008

31-07-08 The end of July already !!!

Called in at West Hartford on the way to catch the rising tide at St Mary's, loads of small Skippers ,and Meadow Browns with Blue Tailed & Blue Damsels at the pool with Ruddy Darters, no sign of any larger Dragons, and only a few Lapwings and Gulls , House Martins & Swallows in small numbers, there was a message of Black Stork over Nelson about the time I was there but I had not seen it ,to busy looking down , that's life, last time I went looking for Dragons I got my feet soaked and had to seawatch in my bare feet as i tried to dry my socks and shoes, so today I had on my wellies, but two steps in trying to get a female Emperor laying , water filled my wellingtons to the top so much for that idea.The weather changed by the time I got to St Marys and there was not much on the rocks, report of Roseate yesterday, but nothing today a couple of Sandwich and young, so I left just as the rain started, spot on with the forecast today. Lots of Ragwort & lots of small Skipper

Azures mating
Female Emperor seems to spend all it's time egg laying
Overhead view, there are supposed to take on more the colour of the male as they get older.

Lesser Black -backed one smart gull, I was going to make a photo study of it, but it went out to sea, having been pestered by a Juvenile Herring Gull begging from anything that came near

30-07-08 Ingram
Some huge Foxgloves in the area, the lower one has,so I was told been sealed by a moth caterpillar, hence it has not been pollinated, some interesting facts about Foxgloves in the link above, such as Witches rubbing them on there thighs to help them fly !!!!!!!!

I had to go to Ingram today, called in at the gravel pits beside Powburn, the gulls have gone ,only 3 Common Sandpipers on the gravel edge, Common Sand still at Ingram also Grey Wagtail, Willow feeding young along the wooded walk to the centre also Spotted Flycatchers feeding young, Coal Tits, Goldcrests, Tree Creeper, plenty Ringlets out but hard to get any shots this one looked ok till I have noticed the stem on the right, an Adder slid off but I went back later and got some other shots, this time it just lay there so I ended up with loads of photos but all much the same.

Harvest Man Spider its legs mimic the leaf veins

Spotted Flycatcher, calling for the young, with a Moth it's just caught.
Marsh Woundwort, this is the one that's smells awful when you rub the leaves, used for the treatment of wounds as the name implies, helping to stem the flow of blood.

29-07-08 St Mary's

Cycled along to St Mary's Island for the falling tide in the hope of Roseate Terns, 65 Sanderling sees the numbers increase from my last visit, and my first Juvenile Arctic Tern and several Sandwich Juveniles, 6 Kittiwakes on the rocks , two Arctic Skuas in Blyth bay chasing but not with any real effort, a couple of colour ringed gulls also noted .

3rd year bird ?
2nd Winter ?
Masses of Jelly fish amongst the rocks ,showing these purple marks

Monday, 28 July 2008

28-07-08 White Rumped Sandpiper

I was on my way to St Marys on the bike when I got a message of White Rumped Sandpiper at Cresswell so it was back home for the car and my gear, the bird was on show the far side of the northern small pool, the mist was thick coming in off the sea, but I got a few Digiscoped shots they look very grainy given the distance and mist,Curlew Sandpiper in with it, I hoped it would brighten up so I hung around but it just got worse at times, will try again if it hangs around and the weather improves

26-07-08 Hedgehog

Found this wandering in the garden it had several Ticks which I removed, I boxed it up with some food for the day it seemed much livelier by evening so I returned it to the garden, but if I see it out again I will take it to the rescue centre for Hedgehogs

23-07-08 Dragons

Another day out for Dragonflies, with more Emperors and Four Spot Chaser, but I could not get close enough for any photos,I also headed down to St Mary's but the crowds and low tide put me off.
Azure on lilly pad seem to see these all over now that I have my eye in now.

Teneral Emerald ??

Soldier Beetles ( the BBC calls them Bonking Beetles )


The morning spent in looking for Dragonflies at several sites Emperor showing well but always settled either slightly hidden or just to far, female also ovipositing, I was surprised to see the male seem to attack the female if she came to close, I say attack as he crashed straight into her and they seem to grapple, but it's over very quickly.

Later that afternoon I went to Church point for some Seawatching, as much to look for Cetaceans as sea birds , there was nobody there when I arrived about 15:45 a few Manx moving North was enough to keep me looking, at about 17:00 a Storm Petrel close in gave the best views I have had of one from shore as it headed North ,others arrived Manx numbers increased, and Sooty Shearwaters put in an appearance with one just over the breakers with the light perfect it turned out to be a good session.
160 Manx
6 Sooty
1 Storm Petrel ( there where two others seen but I did not get onto them)
Velvet Scoter
4 Great Skua
5 Arctic Skua

I will have to look up the name of this moth I have trapped them in the garden before !!

Just got onto this Emperor and he was off,hence missed the tip of the tail
A nice pose but just a little to far away
Emperor with two Azure Damselflies for size comparison
Female Emperor, with damaged wings from clashes with the male and the vegetation

Tuesday, 22 July 2008