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Sunday, 26 August 2012

More patch firsts and more !........ Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th

This weekend I decided to work my local patch, incorporating a bit of much needed walking along the way. Arriving on set around 8 am Saturday the first highlight of the weekend was picking up 4 Cormorants flying east. This was a patch lifer for me and a great start. The set aside field I was viewing at the time held a very large Goldfinch flock with many juvs, seems to have been a good year for this species. A Chiffchaff, of which I saw plenty this weekend , was knocking around with them.
I noted my first Mistle Thrushes for a while too amongst all the other usual suspects.
The second highlight of the morning came just as I was leaving. A portion of  the summer resident Swallow population was being hawked by a Hobby.  The bird was twisting and turning just a few yards in front of me affording amazing views for a few seconds, no bins were needed to see it's eye and mask..fantastic ! With other commitments that afternoon that was it for the patch Saturday...or so I thought...
Around 6pm I had a call from Terry H who had had a Whinchat earlier not far from where I had seen the Cormorants flyover. I had never seen a Whinchat on my local patch, and took up the offer for a quick meet up to see the bird. Fortunately it was still there, a stunningly smart young bird that showed well in the scope.As I would have spooked it approaching from that side, I didn't risk a picture.
Next morning I revisited the Whinchat site, approaching from the other direction, along a Public right of way. Sadly the bird had moved on.There were in its place a few Linnets.


Things were about to pick up though. Terry H was just a few hundred yards down the road, across the patch border in Woodrow. He informed me he had a Spotted Flycatcher ! Like a rat up a drainpipe I was with him within a couple of minutes and as we watched the bird perform, it became evident this was a family party..and soon we identified 3 individuals. The icing on the cake was being able to get a few record shots as one popped down onto a stump right in front of us. I couldn't help but wander if this was the same family party that had been on my patch a couple of weeks ago ?

Spotted Flycatcher

I returned across the border back into official patch territory and undertook a circuitous walk. With the sun threatening an appearance, I cast an eye to to the inverts. Firstly of note was a Holly Blue. There have been good numbers on my patch, but this one got my attention as it was occasionally opening its wings, affording a rare chance to see and photograph the lovely colour in the wing.

Female Holly Blue

A few yards to the right I spotted what I thought was a Common Blue. It's wings were closed. As it flitted about I refined this to a female, having the brown wings. Common Blues have been rarer than hens teeth this year, so I was pleased to get a sighting. However as I got a better look I began to think it could be a Brown Argus. Of course it now showing its underwing for me to record, but I got excellent views of the upper wing. On getting home I was delighted to confirm Brown Argus, a female , a patch lifer and in fact my first Brown Argus of the Year..result !

Brown Argus (female)
Also noted were Migrant hawker, Brown Hawker and Common Darter, the latter of the three the only one to pose for me.

Common Darter


  1. Congratulations on finding the Brown Argus Mark...I think it has to be the undoubted highlight of your good weekend!

  2. Not had a Brown Argus here since early ''Summer'' Nice find, ditto the Whinchat :-)

  3. I'm very grateful to Terry for the Whinchat. It was a mint individual. Finding Brown Argus was special given the 'Summer' we have had.