Thursday, 16 July 2009

Going for a Burton

Juvenile Willow Warbler - like those we saw today
Picture-Winged Fly - Celery Fly?
Great Crested Grebe with 2 of her 4 chicks
I wasn’t looking forward to a return visit to last week’s brand-new location which was very disappointing. There are lots of interesting habitats in the area, but most of these have been taken over by commercial fisheries, which generally aren’t too welcoming of groups interested in wildlife. I managed to find a different public footpath, which didn’t conflict with any anglers. It was a great deal more rewarding than last week’s public footpath, especially when we came across some ponds, which hadn’t been given over to commercial concerns. The best birds seen were a pair of Great Crested Grebes with 4 healthy, fairly young chicks (for this time in the year), a Kingfisher, and a pair of juvenile Willow Warblers; whilst several Reed Warblers chugged away in the background – it would be inaccurate to describe their noise as background music! The local Swallows and House Martins seem to have raised plenty of young so far this year, and there may be time for another brood. There were plenty of butterflies, including: Small Tortoiseshell, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Gatekeeper & all the whites. There were also plenty of odonata (whooo!) including what appeared to be skirmishing Emperor Dragonflies, mating Brown Hawkers, and at least 2 species of damselfly. A striking bright-green-eyed fly landed briefly on Phil’s arm. He gamely allowed me to photograph it, before it had chance to sink his fangs into his flesh – actually, it appeared to be quite harmless! Overall, a lot better than it promised to be!

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