Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Woodlarks show well at Skipworth

Having missed a bright, sunny, albeit blustery Sunday morning recovering from a long day Saturday, I headed out to Skipworth Common in search of sheltered spots and hopefully some Common Hawkers. However, the cloud came, and coupled with the howling wind, so did the chance of seeing any Common Hawkers! However, one species was out in good number - the Cleg!!! And as I type the bites are still rather swollen!

The dragonfly count was particularly unimpressive. Obviously not helped by the conditions, but the recent drainage and current lack of rainfall means that the ponds in main part of the common aren't as large as they once were. I still managed to encounter 21 Large Red Damselflies, 24 Common Blue Damselfly, 16 Azure Damselfly, 1 Emerald Damselfly, 2 Emperor Dragonfly, 7 Four-spotter Chaser, 4 Ruddy Darter and 3 Black Darter in some of the sheltered spots though it was rather hard work.

Turning my attention to something else, I was casually taking pictures when a group of 7 birds headed my way from the middle of the open Common and landed 10 metres from where I was sat in the grass. And I was pleasantly surprised when they walked towards me as they fed... 7 Woodlarks going about their business.

And then along bounded a great big Labrador...'Bella! Get here Bella!' and then they all flew away! Good to know the Common is used as a fantastic habitat for the pet dog to show off its field skills at stick fetching rather than being a site primarily used for enjoying the wildlife!

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