Monday, 30 May 2011

Keeping it varied

Checking the pager and the logbooks at Tophill Low Nature Reserve, East Yorkshire Friday, it appeared maybe a few good birds might be around on Saturday. As it was, none of them remained, with no sign of the putative Red-footed Falcon, no Ospreys putting in an appearance, and the Purple Heron seen several times in the week failing to emerge from cover.

The best of it was a drake Garganey on the marshes, one of the local Buzzards, and Hobby chasing Swifts over O res for most of the afternoon in the strong wind. The best of the pictures was one of the North Marsh Reed Warblers, which posed briefly prior to a heavy shower.

As ever, we had the lights out Friday night for the moths. A good variety of macro species for the end of May included Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Figure of 80, Gold Spot and Ghost Moth.

Figure of 80

Gold Spot

Ghost Moth

Two new micros for the site were found and photographed by Doug Fairweather. Two others are waiting to be confirmed.

Denisia similella

Scrobipalpa costella

With the weather, and last week’s huge Azure count in the record books, we opted to take a day off counting Odonata and look for other things, but we did find Large Red Damselflies, Azure Damselflies, Common Blue Damselflies, Blue-tailed Damselflies, Red-eyed Damselflies, Four-spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers without having to look hard.

One of the benefits of not counting meant we could take photographs of other things. Doug capturing this pair of Agapanthia villosoviridescens – aka Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorns – 2 of the 14 seen easily without leaving the path.

Despite the cloud, the sunny spells encouraged the Grass Snakes to bask, this one of six posing happily on one grassy mound.

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