Sunday, 5 September 2010

Eyes to the skies for the Buteo bonanza

Having read on the pager the number of Buzzards seen at various East coast locations on Friday, I hoped for perhaps seeing some to brighten the day at Tophill Low NR on Saturday.

Past form suggests the north end of the site is best for observations and once again this was the case. Between 10am and c4pm, 25 Buzzards were observed coming in from the NE and drifting SSW over the north end of the site, only 1 was seen drifting high over the south end late afternoon. Perhaps this is due to birds passing around the site rather than actually over the site. The largest group involved 8 birds circling over the soon to be removed Sgt Major Wood. With birds obviously on the move, Doug Fairweather and myself paid close attention and picked out two Honey Buzzards passing over, 4 Marsh Harriers (1 male and 3 females (one of the females at 5.45pm)) 4+ Hobby, plus several Kestrels and Sparrowhawks. Apart from the Kestrels, everything else appeared to move SSW after lingering.

Some of the Hobby were intent on making the dragonfly count easier! Difficult to photograph... some record shots!

The best of the rest was a Common Sandpiper on D Wall and a Green Sandpiper calling at the south end on the river.

As ever, several lights were set up overnight for the moths. A little quiet, the best being Centre-barred Sallow, a Pinion Streaked Snout, 2 Bulrush Wainscot and this Red-Green Carpet photographed by Doug.

With the clouds often hiding the sun, a reasonable number of dragonflies were seen. The weekly count yielded 10 Common Blue Damselfly, 1 Emerald Damselfly, 57 Migrant Hawker, 4 Southern Hawker (below), 141 Common Darter and 12 Ruddy Darter.

One of the interesting Dipteria noted today was this Eristalis arbustorum.

With the fungi season slowly commencing, Doug found these Tricholomopsis rutilans aka Plums and Custard in D Wood.

We also found this possible Peziza spp. Reading the books, there are about 50 species of Peziza, and to identify them you require a microscope... so a specimen is being sent to a higher level.

Currently there are no Peziza species on the Tophill list so we hope it is identified to species.

Yet another long busy day... plenty of topics covered!

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