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Vapourer Moth

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 21:14

 

Although the male flies by day in late summer the caterpillar seems to be more often seen

 

Photograph by: Pam Parsons 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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Barred Yellow

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 21:05

Larvae feed on wild and cultivated roses so this species occurs most often in parks and gardens

 

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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Marsh Warbler

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 20:58

Extremely scarce breeding species in Britain and a rare visitor as far west as Dorset

 

Photograph by: Internet Open Source 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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Sightings - Sunday 10th June 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 20:39
Hobby - 1 Eight Kings Quarry, Portland
Med Gull - 2 Lytchett Minster
Little Tern - First 2 chicks hatched today - Chesil Beach Cuckoo - 2 Bradbury RingsRose Ringed Parakeet - 3 Arms Beer Garden
Lesser Whitethroat - 2 Eight Kings Quarry, Portland




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5 June 18 - Northern Triathlon: Part One

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 18:00
In 2012, I visited Irton Fell in the Southern Lakes of Cumbria looking for Mountain Ringlets which were the only British breeding Butterfly I hadn't seen. Additionally, there is Cryptic Wood White in Northern Ireland, but that till have to wait till I have another reason to head across the water. They had been flying a week or two before & the forecast looked OK. The weather had been glorious in Yorkshire that morning as I looked for my first Large Heaths & I quickly saw at least four.
Large Heath: Crowle Moors, Yorkshire (1 July 12)Large Heath: Crowle Moors, Yorkshire (1 July 12)I carried on across the Pennines to Irton Fell in the Southern Lake District only to find the sunshine that was promised for that afternoon hadn't materialised & as I arrived steady rain set in. After a couple of hours kipping in the car, the rain had stopped. However, it was now late afternoon, completely overcast & windier than I would have liked. I had a quick walk up the hill onto the start of the moors anyway to stretch my legs before the long journey home. At least I would at least get a feeling for the site. Needless to say, I didn't see any Mountain Ringlets. Mountain Ringlets have a reputation of only wanting to fly when the sun is out & disappearing deep into the long grass when the weather isn't favourable.
Irton Fell: The views looking West over Sellafield weren't so inspiring on my first visit & I remember it being a lot more overcast than this photo suggests (1 July 12)
Since that first visit, I've been looking for suitable weather to try again. However, in previous years, I've struggled to find confirmation when Mountain Ringlets have been flying at Irton Fell & secondly to find good sunny conditions that fall on a weekend. This year I saw that the Mountain Ringlets had been flying from late May & secondly there was a sunny day on the forecast for the 5 June. Admittedly, this isn't a weekend day, but I've still got a little bit of time before I start looking for a new contract. After a very early alarm call, I made good time & arrived at Irton Fell just after 11. The weather had been improving as I was heading North. However, it was still mainly cloudy, but with the sun breaking through for a few minutes at a time.Irton Fell: The moors looking East. A lot more blue sky on the second visit & the amount of blue sky got better as the day progressed (5 June 18)I reached the start of the moor after about 15 minutes. There was another guy scanning for Mountain Ringlets. I checked with him, but he hadn't seen any: although he hadn't been looking for too long. I started to walk around & after about five minutes I saw a small dark Butterfly flying over the moorland grass. It was only slightly larger than the Small Heaths that were also flying. It was smaller than I had expected, but then I hadn't checked how large they were & had naively assumed it would be closer to the size of a Meadow Brown. The dark Butterfly finally landed & I quickly confirmed it was my first Mountain Ringlet. There was time to grab a few quick photos, before it was on the wing again. It flew for about 40 metres before landing again & fast enough that I could only just keep up over the rough ground. It only spent about a minute or so each time it landed, before it was back on the wing. After a few flights, I was briefly distracted & lost it.
Mountain Ringlet: Male. While it's not going to win any photographic prizes, it was good to see my first Mountain Ringlet given it's a 750 mile round journey from Dorset
It wasn't long before I had picked up a second individual in flight & this one, briefly crossed paths with another.
Mountain Ringlet: The second individual I saw was much better markedAfter that I kept finding individuals within a few minutes of stopping following the previous individual. On a couple of occasions, I saw three in the air at the same time. It was difficult to be sure of numbers, however, I saw a minimum six in about 100 metres of moorland. All were males & very equally active, although they did generally stop flying every time it clouded over. But within a few minutes the sun & the Mountain Ringlets reappeared.
 Mountain Ringlet: Male. As soon as they landed they spread their wings, so trying to get an underwing shot was always difficultMountain Ringlet: MaleGenerally, the Mountain Ringlets were either landed on small yellow flowers to feed or on one of the many dried cowpats, perhaps they were marginally warmer than the grass. I found the best approach was to try walking to keep up with them when they flew, as they didn't stay put on the ground for long when they landed. Also they were easy to lose on some of the longer flights, as they kept low to the ground. If they flew behind a patch of long grass they were tricky to relocate if you were not close to them.
Mountain Ringlet: Male. Females have the orangy colour covering most of the under forewingMountain Ringlet: MaleMountain Ringlet: Male. A final upperwing shot for this well marked individual I didn't see any females. However, it sounds like they are not as active or showy as the males & tend to wait in the longer grass for the males to find them. After an hour or so, I decided that I was happy with the views & photos and that I needed to move on (after all Triathlons have three legs, are run against the clock & this was only the first leg).
Small Heath: This Small Heath had clearly seen better days
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10 Jun 18

Martin Adlam - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 16:00
Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve, Lane and Pools

A very cloudy but muggy morning.
Not to many butterflies about, but I did record Common Blue, Small Blue, several Meadow Browns and Speckled Woods.
Also a few moths and a couple of new ones for me on Portland, highlighted in red. A Hook-streak Grass-veneer (Crambus lathoniellus), several Silver Y's (Autographa gamma), a Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis) and another new one a Burnet Companion (Euclidia glyphica). Also dozens of 5 or 6 Spot Burnet moth caterpillars.
Also seen were lots of bees, Common Carder, White-tailed, Honey Bee and Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees.

Along Broadcroft Quarry lane a few Common Drone Flies, whilst on the Reserve dozens of Marmalade Hoverflies and a hoverfly Xanthogramma pedissequum.
I came across a Dagger Fly with what looked like a dragonfly head. Really odd. Also several Black-horned Gems (Microchrysa polita) which I last saw in Swindon before I moved here in May 2017. I also came across a few slightly smaller and similar looking flies, the Semaphore fly (Poecilobothrus nobilitatus)
And finally everywhere I looked there were Swollen-thighed Beetles (Oedemera nobilis). Very numerous.

Here are a few images and videos from this morning including two species of Orchid.

A very vocal Wren.

A Wren lets everyone know that this is his patch
A distant shot of one of 2 pairs of Common Whitethroat on the reserve
Lots of Speckled Woods about and also............
..........several Meadow Browns.
A Common Blue, topside........
........and underwing.
I'm hoping I've got this one right. A Hook-streak Grass-veneer (Crambus lathoniellus)
Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis)
This is a Burnet Companion, Euclidia glyphica
The caterpillar of either a 5 or 6 Spot Burnet Moth
Russian Comfrey agg. (Symphytum x uplandicum).............
........which was very popular with the bees. Especially Common Carder and.......
.........and  Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees (Bombus rupestris)
I even got a head on pose.

Some busy bees, mainly Common Carder and Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees.
A White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)
A Common Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax).......
.....and another.
So many Marmalade Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus) about. 
A Dagger Fly with........
.........what looks like the head of a Dragonfly!!
A Hoverfly, Xanthogramma pedissequum
This looks like a fly I use to come across in and around Swindon a Black-horned Gem, Microchrysa polita.

A male Swollen-thighed Beetle, Oedemera nobilis
A Bee Orchid, Ophrys apifera. My first on Portland and I managed to find 7 of these beautiful plants.
The Bee Orchid mimics a female bee in the hope that a male bee will try to mate with it. In doing so the bee ends up pollinating the flower. Very clever.

Pyramidal orchid, Anacamptis pyramidalis. In the next few weeks there will be dozens of these out in flower.
This is Eyebright, Euphrasia........
....a semi-parasitic which steals nutrients from other plants by attaching itself to their roots.
This is Hedge Woundwort, Stachys sylvatica
Almost like a Snapdragon.
A white flowered Iris, Iris croatica
This was by Broadcroft pools, so fairly damp soil.
I keep coming across new flowers on the island, this....
.........is Yellow-wort, Blackstonia perfoliata. It's normally found in the Mediterranean, and has spread into North-west Europe. More on this plant Here.

I'm pretty sure this a campanula .......
............but as to which one, I have no idea.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 09-06-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 08:03
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

9th June

Portland Bird Observatory - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 23:34
A couple more June oddballs livened up proceedings today: a Hoopoe was flushed from a path at Wallsend but couldn't be found again after it disappeared into nearby horse-paddocks, whilst an equally brief Marsh Harrier passed through at the Bill. Singles of Yellow Wagtail and Chiffchaff were the only new commoner migrants at the Bill, a few Manx Shearwaters, 4 Common Scoter and singles of Great Skua and Mediterranean Gull passed through off the Bill and a Bar-tailed Godwit was new at Ferrybridge.

Immigrant lepidoptera interest remained at a fairly low level. By day, Painted Ladys have got a little more widespread although not at all numerous, with reports of ones and twos throughout the island today. Overnight, immigrant/dispersing moths trapped at the Obs included 14 Silver Y, 6 Diamond-back Moth, 2 Rusty-dot Pearl, singles of Orange Footman and Marbled White-spot and a Red Admiral butterfly.

We keep pondering the question at this time of year but never arrive at a satisfactory answer: what is it with Chiffchaffs - why do they have such an amazingly long spring migration period? We all know they arrive early but at least here at Portland it's the long drawn out tail end of spring passage that's so puzzling and so unlike that of every other summer migrant that passes through. This year hasn't been at all out of the ordinary in coming up with new Chiffchaffs throughout late May and early June - no less than 21 have been ringed in June alone - which wouldn't be odd if it weren't for the fact that spring passage started in the second week of March and has been trundling along without a stop ever since (up until today we've only not ringed a new Chiffchaff on six dates since 24th March) © Martin Cade:

Today's Bar-tailed Godwit at Ferrybridge was a rather sad-looking specimen that looked to have a problem with its plumage © Pete Saunders: 
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Sightings - Saturday 9th June 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 21:54
Whooper Swan - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Barnacle Goose - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Spoonbill - 1 Stanpit
Sanderling - 2 Abbotsbury Swannery
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1 Ferrybridge
Cuckoo - 2 Badbury Rings
Hoopoe - 1 briefly ay Wallsend, Portland Bill
Whinchat - 1 Hengistbury Head
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9 Jun 18

Martin Adlam - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 20:35
Wakeham

What huge commotion out in the back garden this morning,  as a Peregrine Falcon took one of our resident Collared Doves in mid-air. As it lifted the dove up the local Herring Gulls (with young on their nests) flew off the chimney pots and attacked the Peregrine. It worked and the dove was released, but sadly was dead as it hit the ground in the neighbours garden.

As the Peregrine turned back, its mate turned up and both circled the house several times before heading off towards Easton.

This evening 23 Swifts passed over the house also heading north.

One very confused Collared Dove, which has been calling for its mate for most of the day.
A small passage of Swifts over the house.
Another.........
and more.
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28 May 18 - Bank Holiday Clubbing

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 18:00
Around the Bank Holiday weekend, my thoughts turned to looking at the weather for suitable sunny conditions to have another attempt to see Club-tailed Dragonflies. I had looked in June 2014 at the Goring-on-Thames site, but had been unsuccessful. I've tried to find another date in subsequent years to head back, but I've not been able to find good looking conditions on a free weekend. So I was interested when I saw one of the Dorset Birders had successfully seen Club-tailed Dragonflies at a site in Sussex on the Bank Holiday Sunday. A quick chat on social media & I had some directions. The weather looked good on the Bank Holiday Monday, so I left early hoping the traffic would be light: fortunately, it was. I arrived just before 11 & the weather forecast was spot on: sunny & still conditions. First problem was having to get past a number of young, inquisitive cattle on the riverbank. About ten minutes later, I saw my first Club-tailed Dragonfly, but it quickly disappeared out of view. Five minutes later, the next was happy to sit around for photos.
Club-tailed Dragonfly: Male. Club-tailed Dragonflies are initially tricky to see once the adults hatch as the teneral phase quickly head off to nearby treetops to matureClub-tailed Dragonfly: Male. After a couple of weeks in the treetops, the mature adults return to the riverbank to mate Club-tailed Dragonfly: Male. They range from Sussex to the Thames in Oxfordshire & across to the Severn on clean, slow-moving riversClub-tailed Dragonfly: MaleClub-tailed Dragonfly: Male. This one landed on the grass by the riverbank for a few minutes, before returning to patrolling the riverClub-tailed Dragonfly: Male. A couple of the males were patrolling the river over a 50 metre stretchClub-tailed Dragonfly: Male
Club-tailed Dragonfly: Male. I didn't see any females so perhaps they were still to return to the river
Club-tailed Dragonfly: Male. The males were sitting around close to the river to look for the females as they returned from the treetops
There were also large numbers of Banded Demoiselles & smaller numbers of Large Red Damselflies along the river bank.
Banded Demoiselle: Male. They were very common along the riverbank, but I only took a few photos of them as I've taken a lot of photos in previous yearsBanded Demoiselle: Male. They are even more stunning when seen close upBanded Demoiselle: FemaleBanded Demoiselle: FemaleBanded Demoiselle: Males. I really like this photoLarge Red DamselflyI also saw a Shieldbug which I wasn't sure which one it was at the time, but it looked familiar. But the beauty of having a decent camera meant I could photograph it & work it out later, when I had the book handy.
Coreus marginatus: This widespread Shieldbug occurs as an adult from August to July & prefers dense vegetation along hedgerows, wasteland & damper areas. I was right, I had seen it beforeCoreus marginatus: I saw several without any real searching I also saw this presumed pair of Beetles, which I've not managed to identifying yet.
Beetle sp.: Any thoughts about the identification?
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The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 08-06-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 07:55
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

8th June

Portland Bird Observatory - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 22:31
Although late spring/early autumn passage again delivered a small flurry of migrants the day's main interest came in the form of a Subalpine Warbler trapped and ringed at the Obs; it was released into the Obs Quarry from where it eventually emerged a couple of hours later only to quickly disappear again across nearby fields. The day's commoner migrants included 5 Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatears and singles of Ringed Plover, Reed Warbler and Blackcap at the Bill, 19 Common Scoter, 9 Manx Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua through on the sea there and 25 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin and 6 Sanderling at Ferrybridge.

As seems to be what's usual at this time of year with what we're presuming is a first-summer female Western Subalpine Warbler the bird's plumage was in a pretty shoddy state...


...the absence of any recent flight feather moult other than a couple of inner secondaries (as would be usual in Western Subalpine Warbler) would seem to rule out that it might be a Moltoni's Warbler...

...the outer tail feathers were of an adult pattern (we've handled first-summers in the past that have the outer feathers literally reduced to a shaft only) but we suspected these feathers had been replaced out of sync with any normal moult...

...finally, it was interesting to discover that the bird had a well-formed brood patch and had presumably at least attempted to breed sometime earlier this spring © Martin Cade:
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Sightings - Friday 8th June 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 21:01
Whooper Swan - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Long-tailed Duck - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Sanderling - 6 Ferrybridge
Cuckoo - 1 Wick, Christchurch Harbour
Subalpine Warbler - 1 female (presumed Western) trapped at PBO

Stonechat at Hengistbury Head © Clinton Whale
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4 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Seven: South Georgia - Southern Right Whales

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:00
As we were sailing away from Cooper Island & South Georgia, we saw a couple of Southern Right Whales: our first large Whales of the Odyssey. For me the early part of the Odyssey had been disappointing for Cetaceans. I had seen brief views of a Fin Whale & a couple of Southern Right Whales, as well as, a couple of brief sightings on Hourglass Dolphins on different days. Additionally, a few lucky peeps had seen a Southern Bottle-nosed Whale & Spectacled Porpoise: both of which are still Ticks for me. Finally, sightings were on the up when these Southern Right Whales performed for us.
Some of the crowds looking for the Southern Right Whale: While Chris Gladwin's has had enoughSouthern Right Whale: Note, the encrustations on the body & the calm oily footprint (which is the tell tale sign of where a large Whale has been on the surface)
Southern Right Whale: A close up of the encrustations which they typically haveSouthern Right Whale: Southern Right Whales don't have a dorsal fin on their backSouthern Right Whale: About the fluke Southern Right Whale: The tail is on the water's surface
Southern Right Whale: & now the tail is fully exposedSouthern Right Whale: They can grow to 11-16 metres long & weight 20-30 tonnesSouthern Right Whale: The strongly pointed tail fins are one of the identification featuresSouthern Right Whale: They are circumpolar & occur between 35 & 60 degrees South. Well known wintering sites include Southern Argentina & South Africa, as well as, South Georgia, Australia, New Zealand & a variety of other South Ocean islandsAs usual, after dinner, we retired to the observation lounge for the Wildwings log. One of the good things on some evenings were the long discussions on identification of some of the Seabirds or Cetaceans. Often, there wasn't the opportunity on the deck to check the photos properly, or sometimes, they needed to be seen properly on a laptop screen. Other evenings were just a good craic of story & joke telling over a beer or two (or tea in my case). The social side of the Odyssey was excellent.Mike Deverell with Ozzy Chris Keher in the background: Mike struggling to stay awake for the log. It had been a busy three days around South Georgia
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8 Jun 18

Martin Adlam - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 15:32
Portland Obs Quarry

This morning a Subalpine Warbler was ringed and released in the Obs Quarry. Picture on Twitter Here and after a 2 hour delay I finally managed to catch up with it.
When I arrived at the Quarry it was heard calling by myself and 2 other birders. We then saw it a couple of times before it flew past us and into the shrubs shown below.
It showed itself a couple of times again before heading off towards the road, where we presume it carried on into the Crown Estate Fields.
In the Obs garden lots of Painted Lady's and a male Broad-bodied Chaser. One of these days I'll get a photo of the Chaser.

The last time the Subalpine Warbler was seen was when it flew..........
..........into these bushes here close to the road, before heading off again towards the Crown estate Fields to the west.
There are always predators around, here a Kestrel is looking for voles or a juicy Grasshopper.
And there is always a Raven not to far away.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ships today
Way out in the English Channel the Triton Ace a Vehicles Carrier flying the flag of Panama. This vessel is on its way from Veracruz (Mexico) to Antwerp (Belgium). More on this cargo ship Here.
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Green Arches

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:12

Associated with mature deciduous woodland but only found occasionally

 

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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Pretty Chalk Carpet

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:05

Widespread on chalk grasslands in southern England but rarely recorded

 

Photograph by: Phyl England 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

Yellow-bellied Fungus Gnat

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:01

A frequent visitor to flowers in mid-summer

 

Photograph by: Charlie Richardson 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

Summer 2018 at Longham Lakes

Bird Words - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:38
6th June A great afternoon for damsels & dragons at Longham Lakes with 11 species recorded. These included a Broad-bodied Chaser on the ‘Scarlet Darter’ pond (south of main lakes). At least 1 male Hairy Dragonfly still present there. Best … Continue reading →
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