Friday, 13 August 2010

Flycatcher, spotted

Righty ho, as you were...

Saturday 7th August

One of the highlights of the weekend was the two Spotted Flycatchers, at Lowthorpe. I'm not 100% but I'm fairly sure one was a young bird. However the other bird performed marvelously while I was sheltering from a shower.

This was on the Saturday afternoon. Other sightings around Harpham-Lowthorpe on the same walk were; 1 Gadwall, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Hobby, 1 Kestrel, 30+ Common Gull, 20+ Black-headed Gull, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 28 Skylark in one loose flock, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Coal Tit.

Also a Grey Squirrel in Lowthorpe Church Wood - my first one of the year.

In the afternoon I headed around Gembling and Foston, which was rather productive. In the Gembling area were 3 Teal, 1 Grey Heron, 7 Grey Partridge, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Common Buzzard, 8 Snipe, 7 Green Sandpiper, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Bullfinch and a Reed Bunting.

At Brigham Quarry, 3 Gadwall, 2 Pochard, 1 Tufted Duck, 13 Little Grebe, 10+ Coot (4 pairs), 4 Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 17 Stock Dove and 12 Swift.

On the way back 50+ House Sparrow were noted in Great Kelk. Finally in the evening, 22 Greylags were in Little Kelk plus 25 Mallard, 1 Little Grebe and 2 Kingfisher at Kelk Lake. A Grey Heron flew over and a small flock of Golden Plover were calling in a field - I couldn't see them but it sounded like only a few.

Sunday 8th August

Morning - Harpham and Lowthorpe: 2 Red-legged Partridge, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Sparrowhawk, 7 Common Buzzard (see photo in previous post), 1 Hobby, 75 Swift, 2 Kingfisher, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Willow Warbler singing, 8 Tree Sparrow.

Late afternoon - Kelk Beck and Cattleholmes: 1 Mute Swan, 1 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 3 Green Sandpiper, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 2 Herring Gulls (adults moving SW), 1 Kingfisher, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, two parties of Long-tailed Tit. Also a Water Vole in Kelk Beck.

With no new bird species for the year, that leaves the year list on 110. Now just time for some smaller flying creatures.


Not a great weekend in terms of numnbers but a few gooides. Totals were; 1 Meadow Brown, 12 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 3 Ringlet, 1 Small Skipper, 2 Speckled Wood, 12 Wall, 'three figures' of Whites. However the best bay far was on Sunday when we found 10+ Small Copper and 4 Brown Agrus at Harpham. The latter a new species for me within the area.

Also several noted dragonflies noted; 6+ Common Blue Damselfly, 2 Ruddy Darter, 4 Common Darter, 3 Migrant Hawker.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Call the coppers

Is it late summer or early autumn? August is such a transitional month it's hard to know from one day to the next. When it's sunny it's definitely summer... and then the clouds gather and suddenly it's back-end-ish.

My August visit took place at the weekend and on balance it was more summer than autumn. Harvest has been slow to start which is one point for summer, but migrants have started to move through; one point for autumn.

Highlights from the weekend were; 7 Common Buzzard together (photo below), Hobby, 10 Green Sandpipers, 5 Kingfisher, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Coal Tit. Butterflys were not especially active but three species for the year were added; Small Skipper, Small Copper and Brown Argus - the latter I have never seen in the area before. Excellent!

Anyway, until I get chance to write a review here's a few pictures.

Small Copper at Harpham. I didn't find any of these last year but on Sunday found 10+ in a small area of flowers along a hedgerow.

A lovely fresh Peackock, in the same area as the copper.

A Common Blue Damselfly. These delightful little critters are surprisingly local within the area, almost more so than the bigger Darters and Hawkers. Brigham Quarry was the hotspot at the weekend, where this one was snapped.

One of the three Coal Tits seen together at Lowthorpe. Although not rare they can be damned elusive in the area, and it's a while since I've seen any juveniles - two were noted.

Last but not least, a group of seven buzzards soaring overhead. We think there were two family parties; three birds (probably one juvenile) were joined by the other four (probably two juveniles).