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Sunday, 1 September 2013

One Good Tern...and more

The highlight of the Bank Holliday weekend was finding a Black Tern when I visited Grimley on the Sunday morning. This was a really pleasing bird to pick up. It performed wonderfully giving great views over 90 minutes as it hawked insects and took 1 fish. It was nice to really be able to study a species like this on the Doorstep , a rare treat.

This weekend I popped up to Titterstone Clee. Seems bizarre that I have not been back since early November 2012, but the weather during early Spring passage was so poor, and the place was covered in snow until about June ( well maybe not quite)..I had also intended to get up there for some invert investigation this Spring and Summer, but with the dates being all to cock I never made it.

Anyway, up on "TheTit" yesterday were high numbers of Swallows feeding up ready for the off.  2 Kestrels were noted and regularly landing on the slopes around the many Meadow Pipits.Buzzards and Ravens screeched and Kronked respectively.

Near the car park I noted 6 Wheatears, and just below a vocal extended family of Stonechats. Possibly a couple of broods worth ..?


The 'highlight' bird was a Yellow Wagtail that split from a group of Pied, gave a nice flight call and put down for a minute or so before heading off for warmer parts.

It was quite nippy up there, but I did see a ♀ Common Hawker ovipositing, and a couple of ♂'s kicking around. A nice session in all.

♀ Common Hawker ovipositing at Titterstone
One the way home I dropped into the patch. It was nice to see a Couple of Common Blues about, as well as a couple of Small Copper.

Small Copper

The highlight was seeing Purple Hairstreak for the 1st time on the Oak where they had initially been recorded on the patch 12 months ago. It was a bit worn, but it came down nice and low, which does not happen too often. This is the 4th site on my patch I have seen them this year.

Purple Hairstreak

There was a definite nip in the air Sunday morning as I checked the moth trap. Treble Bar was my weekend highlight, a lifer. I later swung by Grimley, hoping some of the waders that I had missed there over the bank Holliday may be about. I was not disappointed. Little Egret, Little and  Ringed Plover, Black Tailed Godwit, Dunlin,and Greenshank were all encountered. The Snipe count was well into double figures and it was nice to see a few Kingfishers darting around again. Common Tern numbers were dropping off rapidly from the week before.
Autumn has arrived on the Doorstep.

Treble -bar