Sunday, 10 April 2011

Purple patch

Everything that was great was purple today at Tophill Low NR.

During a conversation with Doug Fairweather on the problems of photographing Groundhoppers in the field, I mentioned 'Oh look there goes a Purple Heron!' The conversation continued 'Bloody thing won't... yer what???' Then we both watched the bird lazily flying south overhead before heading to Watton Nature Reserve and appearing to land. Hot-footing round O res the half mile to the hide, Doug and me found Keith Rotherham sitting comfortably, perhaps a little bemused... until the bird, which was completely out of view, took off and headed back NE over Tophill... the record pics of it in flight in case it vanished!

Nice way to see a great bird... idiot free!

Eventually, it appeared late-afternoon and took up residence on North Lagoon for folk to see. Another record shot of it below.

I'm sure many big lenses will be out tomorrow for better pictures. The 3rd I've seen at Tophill and the first I've found there... (albeit unknown to us, Derrick Venus had it several minutes before on North Lagoon briefly so credit to his eyes)

I have to admit I've not seen a Purple Heron fly over 2 Pink Feet and a White Front before, but that happened today at WNR. I guess I won't see that happen again! On the plastic front, a female Wood Duck was also present.

The best of the other birds included two Common Terns. 2 LRPS, and a Sedge Warbler on the site. A Peregrine flew north late afternoon.

Back to the theme purple. I'm lucky in that I've been allowed, over the last decade or so, to be able to use the moth traps at Tophill. And for all the dull ones I have too catch... now and again you catch your favourites.

Not the best set of pictures... but 'a perfect' Purple Thorn to view is absolutely stunning... my pictures don't do it justice, but it was pretty smart.

However, it was a cool night so not many moths were trapped. The best of the rest included The Streamer

While the first Powdered Quakers and Early Greys of the year appeared in the traps.

The Lepidoptera theme continued for most of the day, with many on the wing. The count as taken from the notebook involved 34 Peacock, 5 Speckled Wood, 8 Green-viened White, 7 Comma and 6 Small Tortoiseshell.

For the latest Tophill news, check out the Tophill Low blog

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