Thursday, 18 June 2015

June Visitors.

A photo of the BNG which I last saw on the 14th June in the centre of the res. hanging out with a GCG! Its favoured area had been taken over by fishing boats. 
 On the 15th June this wader was resting on the dam. At first its long legs and long bill had me hoping that it would be a Spotted Redshank, which would have been a site tick for me. Alas, not much of a pale super and red is noticeable on the upper mandible so it meant that it was just a Redshank. Still a site year tick, which just demonstrates how bereft of waders we are at Thornton!
 Mind you I still think it has rather long legs
 and its bill seems too long for your average Redshank. And is the bill tip slightly curved down? Hybrid?

 At least two different Red Kite have been recent visitors. This one is missing some tail feathers.
 Being mobbed by the local Herring Gull that has decided to stay this summer and has become very territorial. Seems to survive on a diet of Rainbow Trout.
 This Red Kite seems to be missing 2 primaries on its left wing. 

Friday, 12 June 2015

Heath Fritillary at last!

 Our second trip to Hockley Woods Essex was successful. Above is the habitat that has been managed to maintain a breeding population of Heath Fritillaries.

 We saw a total of 8 along the rides in the warm sunshine.

 They were attracted to Blackberry flowers, but there is also plenty of Cow Wheat, which is the caterpillars food plant

 They have a low fluttering flight with short glides. They were quite difficult to find perched up.

 There were also plenty of Holly Blues on the wing. I think this one might be egg laying, but on a Dock?

 Referred to as the Woodman's friend as it would be found in recently coppiced areas. It disappears when areas are shaded out. As a result of being tied to human activity, British Heath Frits. lost their migration instincts and became very sedentary. This results in the extinction of colonies if management does not continue. I can only congratulate the volunteers at Hockley who have worked to maintain the habitat necessary for this rare species.

 In the afternoon we chilled out on the beach at Southend -on -Sea. We were surrounded by more Med. Gulls than Black Headed!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Summer Plumage BNG.

 I found this summer plumage Black-necked Grebe at Thornton on Monday afternoon. It spent most of its time feeding. My photos do not do it justice. The cheek feathers were resplendent in the afternoon sunshine!!!
 There was no sign of it today, Tuesday, so it may have departed. June records are rare according to the Leicestershire and Rutland Avifauna. It may have been a late migrant heading for breeding areas in more eastern areas of mainland Europe or eastern England. There were only 38 confirmed pairs in Britain in 2010(Bird Atlas 2007-11).

A Red Kite flew east on the 8th and this Chimney Sweeper moth was enjoying the sunshine on the acid meadow.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Polish Swan.

 I noticed this Mute Swan sporting pale legs a Polish Swan feature.

 Although in shadow the black legs of a normal Mute Swan.
Polish Swan in foreground and normal Mute behind.