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Monday, 29 July 2013

Waders return

I was out a couple of mornings in the good weather last week in pursuit of Dragonflies etc, one of them found me at Askham Bogs, I'd met up with Mark there and although several Southern and Brown Hawkers plus a Common Darter were by the pool they were very active and didn't pose for us, then as we were leaving Mark spotted a movement in the undergrowth and we discovered a Mole rummaging around, don't know whether it was because the soil is so hard at the moment or for some other reason but very unusual behaviour.
Purple Loosestrife

tatty Small Skipper

Green Veined White


and Mr Mole

a few fresh Comma's about
It would seem wader passage has begun so I had a nice steady day at Blacktoft on Sunday, the main highlight was good views and photos of a Wood Sandpiper but there was a good supporting cast of other waders as well including Black Tailed Godwits, a couple of juv Little Ringed Plovers, several Spotted Redshanks in various states of moult, Greenshank and Green Sandpipers plus several Ruff moulting out of their summer finery dropped in after a shower mid afternoon. As well as the waders other highlights were the ever present Marsh Harriers, a Water Rail with two chicks, at least six Little Egrets, a couple of Bitterns flying around and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the juv Bearded Reedlings showing as well as they did, small groups feeding along the base of the reeds right throughout the day.
Wood sand

and Green

some well grown Avocet chicks with agitated parents

moulting Spotshank

one of the many Godwits

juv LRP


a few Ruff dropped in

a couple of juv Harriers messing about

up to six of these, can't believe they used to be a rarity

always too far for a decent shot they nevertheless showed well

there was a handful of Moths on show in reception,
above and below Purple Thorn

and the Dot

Bold as Brass, as I was leaving she was stood on the bank,
stared at me for a minute then casually walked away

Monday, 22 July 2013


Still fairly quiet so I decided a day up in Teesside would be as good as anywhere, I headed for Saltholme first, yesterdays adult Temminck's Stint was still along the causeway on the West Pool this morning but there was no sign of the Spoonbill. I spent an hour or so in the Phil Stead Hide next, there was a good selection of stuff including four Little Egrets and several smart looking Black Tailed Godwits plus a Little Ringed Plover dropped in, then I took a stroll down to the main Hide where the Spoonbill was eventually picked up on Back Saltholme though remained distant, Common Terns seem to be doing well with quite a few on the Islands in front of the Visitor Centre and there was a constant stream of birds toing and froing. Moved round to South Gare in the afternoon in the hope there might be some seabirds moving through but apart from loads of Terns fishing just a single dark phase Arctic Skua passed by. A bit of sunshine in the afternoon enticed a few Butterflies out including several Graylings plus loads of Burnet Moths.

LRP dropped in

Spoonbill on Back Saltholme

Saturday, 20 July 2013


I went out to Tophill Low after work on Thursday, it was another nice warm and sunny afternoon and I was hoping for a few Dragonflies but there was only a handful of Brown Hawkers and Black Tailed Skimmers and they didn’t pose, there was a good selection of Butterflies though and Small Skippers were particularly numerous. Birdwise it was pretty quiet although a pair of Marsh Harriers have bred this year and two young birds have recently fledged and as the day cooled they became a bit more active, flying about and perching on top of bushes etc, also a couple of Buzzards floating around.

Six -spot Burnet

a Hedgehog was rooting around