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Sightings - Thursday 14th June 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 23:04
Great Northern Diver - 2 Portland Bill
Spoonbill - 1 Stanpit Marsh
Green Sandpiper - 7 Lytchett Fields RSPB
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A pinch of saltmarsh

Peter Moores Blog - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:53
My sons are both 'Kentish Men', born in the Garden of England west of the Medway, but since we left the county in 2007, visits back there have been a bit few and far between. The recent birthday of a former neighbour provided one such opportunity, and Sunday morning offered a chance to reacquaint myself with an old favourite, the Elmley Marshes Natural Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey.
A breeding plumage Yellow Wagtail always brightens the day Yellow Wagtails are very leggy enabling them to stalk through the long grass of the grazing marshThis unusually bold bird was strutting up the entrance track calling constantlyA wider angle view perched on thistleAlthough it was a brief encounter, after my last few visits when breeding birds seemed a bit thin on the ground, it felt a bit like the 'old days' at the turn of the century when I first started going there: breeding waders like Lapwing and Redshank appeared to be doing well, as were the ground-nesting passerines - Yellow Wagtail, Corn Bunting, Meadow Pipit and Skylark.
Wonderful close-up views of Redshank from the car windowJuvenile RedshankMarsh Harriers were very much in evidence......much to the chagrin of the breeding LapwingsAll the photographs in this post were taken using the car as a hide on the 2 mile entrance track to the reserve centre. Since the reserve management reverted from the RSPB to the private owner a few years ago, the area around the farm complex has undergone some reconfiguration, with more provision for paying guests and conversion of farm buildings. But if that's helping to pay for the conservation work, I'm certainly not complaining.
This adult male Lapwing was sporting a spectacular crestIncreased Lapwing chick productivity is one of the key management aims on the reserve: here's one they prepared earlierStunning iridescence on this roosting birdMy car's reflection can be seen in the eye of this Lapwing photographed at close rangeI rediscovered an interest in the natural world relatively late in life, and it was a visit to Elmley back in the late 1990s which re-ignited a childhood fascination with birds which had been dormant while I was studying and working in London in my 20s. One of my earliest memories of the reserve was a Corn Bunting singing from a trackside bush - so I was touched to see another singing from the same bush on Sunday. The children haven't yet learned to share my pleasure at being on the grazing marshes and saltmarshes of Sheppey. Thankfully, for as long as good conservation management continues, there is still time.
Meadow PipitA flock of Stock Dove was nice to seeSkylarkCorn Bunting
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14 Jun 18

Martin Adlam - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:38
Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve

Despite the stiff breeze there were plenty of butterflies about. Mainly Meadow Browns and Speckled Woods. There were a few Common Blues and Large Skippers, which proved difficult to photograph, plus 2 Dingy Skippers.

I came across a couple of Burnet Companions Moths, my first Six-spot Burnet Moths of the year and a Silver-Y.

A few hoverflies about, though not many were settling, just the one Mimic Bee Hoverfly (Volucella bombylans), normally I come across Volucella plumata.

There were a few Swollen-thighed Beetles and what looks like a Noon Fly but isn't. There was also another fly to ID and I'm sure I came across a Black-horned Gems (Microchrysa polita), but there again could have been a Green Gem (Microchrysa flavicornis). Two to check.

Here are a few images:

Speckled Wood
Meadow Brown
Large Skipper
A Six-spot Burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae), with quite a few on the wing...................
...............perhaps the caterpillars I saw last week were those of the Six-spot Burnet moth and not Five-spot.
Silver-Y
Burnet Companion
Dingy Skipper
The jungle
Mimic Bee Hoverfly (Volucella bombylans)
A Black-horned Gems (Microchrysa polita), but it could be a Green Gem (Microchrysa flavicornis), but they have yellow antennae.
Fly sp.
Swollen-thighed Beetle, Oedemera nobilis
I was thinking this was a Noon Fly. But the size is all wrong.
Another view of my mystery fly.
The view looking south over Bumpers lane.
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December Moth

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 19:30

 

A common species of deciduous woodland that flies in late autumn and in to the winter

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Orange Swift

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 19:24

 

A common species found in diverse habitats including waste ground and untidy gardens!

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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7 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Ten: At Sea From South Georgia To Gough Island

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 18:00
The previous day I had been mainly Birding from a cosy chair by the window in the observation lounge, as rough seas had stopped us from going out on deck. This allowed me to see my first Great-winged Petrels & Atlantic Petrels, with a few Spectacled Petrels from the deck when we were allowed out again in the late afternoon when the seas moderated. The observation lounge was fairly reasonable for looking at the sea & had the benefits of being warm & dry with easy access to the drinks machine. However, it wasn't any good for Bird photography. So it was good to wake up to find the seas had moderated & we had free access to the decks again & I could get the camera out again.
Sooty Albatross: Adult. It was good to get the opportunity for some better photos
Sooty Albatross: Adult
Sooty Albatross: Adult. Sooty Albatrosses are very elegant in flight
Sooty Albatross: Subadult. The pale collar & scruffy mantle indicates this is a subadult. Both species can have a pale collar, however, subadult Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses would also have the pale colouration extending onto the belly & Sooty Albatrosses will have a predominately dark mantle. Therefore, this is a subadult Sooty Albatross
Sooty Albatross: Subadult. Another view of the same individualWandering Albatross: The plumages of Tristan Wandering Albatrosses & Snowy Wandering Albatrosses overlap & therefore it is not possible to be sure which subspecies this isWandering Albatross: Apparently, Tristan Wandering Albatrosses are smaller & slighter than Snowy Albatross, but I'm struggling to see this in my photos. The location is the best way to separate the two subspecies, but given the Plancius was roughly halfway between the two populations, I don't think this individual can be assigned to a particular subspecies Kerguelen PetrelSpectacled Petrel: Spectacled Petrels only breed on inaccessible Island in the Tristan da Cunha group
Great ShearwaterGreat ShearwaterBrown Skua: Falklands Brown Skua. The dark colouration confirms this is a Falklands Brown Skua, rather than the first Tristan Brown Skua of the trip
When we were at sea, there were generally a couple of lectures a day from members of the Expedition staff. However, we also had a superb guest lecture from Bob Flood who was one of the passengers, on the identification of Black-bellied Storm-petrel & White-bellied Storm-petrel in the Atlantic. This isn't as simple as checking the belly colour as some populations of Black-bellied Storm-petrels have white-bellies. Simplistically, the Southern population of Black-bellied Storm-petrels are most likely to have black-bellies, whereas the populations that breed further North in the South Atlantic are more likely to have white-bellies. Bob said there are other populations in the Pacific with streaky bellies, but they were not covered within the lecture. I will come back to this subject in a later Post.'Black-bellied' Black-bellied Storm-petrel: This individual clearly has a black central belly stripe'White-bellied' Black-bellied Storm-petrel: This individual clearly has a white-belly, but is a Black-bellied Storm-petrel'White-bellied' Black-bellied Storm-petrel: Another photo of the same individualBlack-bellied Storm-petrel: Not all Black-bellied Storm-petrels can be identified to a subspeciesThere had been up to three Cattle Egrets around the Plancius since the previous day. They generally were hanging around on the relatively quiet zodiac deck, but every now & then, somebody managed to disturb them & force them to fly around again. I suspect some of the photographers were keener to get photos, than necessary thinking about the best interests of the Cattle Egrets. My photos were all taken when they appeared in front of me as I didn't think it was right to go looking for them on the back deck & risk disturbing them.
Cattle Egret: This individual has been disturbed again
Cattle Egret: Trying to look camouflaged on the front deck
Eventually, they were seen flying off the following day when we were still a couple of days from Gough Island. At least, one was seen dropping into the ocean before it got out of sight. I guess it hadn't eaten for several days & was probably exhausted. It sounds harsh, but perhaps that was the better option than for these Cattle Egrets to reach Gough Island. Once there they might become another predator on the Seabirds on Gough Island. Cattle Egrets have a world wide range & have rapidly colonised South America in recent decades. It is not clear if these individuals had originated in South America or Africa or were perhaps from South Georgia, as we had seen one or two there. They are a relatively recent arrival to South Georgia. There have generally been a few Cattle Egrets seen on each of the recent Odyssey voyages, therefore their range expansion still seems to be continuing.
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Silky Wainscot

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:30

Inhabits reed beds and especially those of the common reed, Phragmytes australis

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Beautiful Hook-tip

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:25

Associated with deciduous trees and found in woodlands or gardens where trees are present or nearby

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Brown Rustic

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:21

A widespread and fairly common species in most habitats

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Spruce Carpet

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:17

A species favouring conifers and found almost anywhere there are conifer trees including gardens

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Poplar Kitten

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:05

A local species of southern England around polar trees

 

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Barred Red

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:01

A fairly common species around conifer plantations and gardens with evergreens

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Red-necked Footman

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 14:57

A species of wooded habitats and believed to be extending its range across much of the country

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Bordered White

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 14:52

A species associated with pine trees and occurs mainly in coniferous and mixed woodland

 

Photograph by: John Gifford The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Scorched Wing

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 11:04

 

A scrub and woodland species occurring also in parks and gardens

 

Photograph by: lfcfrymod (name not known) The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Delicate Moth

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:57

 

A migrant species found in southern England where it may breed but the larvae are unlikey to survive the winter

 

Photograph by: Debby Saunders The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:51

 

Very similar to the 5-spot burnet and found in similar habitats

 

Photograph by: Phil Sterling The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Grey Partridge

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:22

A scarce and declining farmland species

 

Photograph by: Ian Ballam The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Hoverfly (C floccosa)

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:16

A woodland species often visiting the flowers of shrubs like hawthorn and dogwood

 

Photograph by: Edmund Mackrill The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Hoverfly (V inflata)

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:07

A common woodland species in southern England on the flowers of shrubs like elder and dogwood

 

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

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