Monday 28 May 2012

North Wall, Pagham

A cooler day and perfect conditions at the Breech Pool. The drake Garganey was fairly easy to find, consorting with the Mallards at the back of the pool. Occasionally there was a falling out and the Mallards took umbrage at the visitor's presence. The long staying juvenile Glossy Ibis showed well but seems to be moving around much more.



Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis
 Having recorded both on camera, albeit at distance, I decided to have a walk to the flooded field to the north of the pool. This was reported over the weekend on SOS by  Jim Weston and Richard Ives et al. By the quality of the reports it was certainly worth a look. I recorded, Black-tailed Godwits, Greenshank, Redshank, Shelduck, Gadwall, Garganey, Little Gull. Glossy Ibis and Little Ringed Plover. Plus, of course, many of the usual suspects.

Little Gull

Little Gulls

Little Gulls - Black-headed for comparison


 Back to the pool, the Garganey and Glossy had switched back as well but it was the Common Terns which had my interest yet again.

Common Tern
  In the pool the rather large Common Carp are starting to become interested in nuptials as the temperature increases and there were several large bow waves present, much to the consternation of one Coot which was spooked several times.

Usual suspect #1 Cuckoo

Usual suspect #2 Reed Warbler

Usual suspect #3 Swallow
Breeding pair????

Saturday 26 May 2012

The cycle starts again.

Frenzied activity in and around the pond today as Blue and Large Red Damselflies start the process all over again.

Exuvia post ecdysis

Thursday 24 May 2012

Common Terns

The storyline is an old evergreen romance -

Boy meets Girl

They hang together for a while.

Boy invites Girl to dinner

Girl accepts

Bob's your uncle.

One happy Tern

Great drama from the Breech Pool at Pagham - cast Common Terns, Sterna Hirundo

Ah well! Back to fishing

A happy and contented bird

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Pulborough Brooks

The sages say - "Always have a Plan B".  Well Plan A - photographing singing Nightingales failed miserably. There were plenty of birds but most of them not willing to be seen.

Secretive Nightingale

I think I get the message
Met Jim and Dawn on the trail, good to see them again - fresh back from their travels - look forward to the photos. Also bumped into Dorian and Dave, twice. 

 Plan B was to find a Common Lizard on the heath which, amazingly, was successful. At a recent class for macro photography the lecturer could not stress enough the importance of getting down to the same height as your subject for eye to eye contact. Well all I can say is he has never tried to capture a Common Lizard on a hot day, it was all I could do to keep up with him, the lizard not the lecturer.

Common Lizard

Common Lizard
Near the mound there was a terrible din, hoots and screeches as two Jays did battle with a Tawny Owl. The Jays eventually left but were still screeching. A Cuckoo appeared on the scene and did a circle round me, calling all the time, suddenly two females appeared, and one of which I was certain was a rufous. However, since arriving home and consulting the internet I have just a few doubts. Shame I didn't get a snap.

Continuing on the trail I came across a couple of 'bugs' worth capturing, first time for me - a green beetle with purple legs and a nattily dressed wasp. Also, a Beautiful Demoiselle, unfortunately the pictures were not good, a shame as it really is good looking.

Green Tiger Beetle

Wasp?? Sirex?? Help appreciated

By the time I returned to the Visitor Centre the customary 'Pond Dippers' and the bus load of people who have the same status as me  - OAP - had arrived - time to go. I called in to Waltham Brooks on the way home but it was very quiet, just a few Damsel Flies and a lone Small Copper.

Blue-tailed Damselfly, Ischnura elegans

Small Copper

Monday 21 May 2012

Larsen Trapping

This is a picture I took today of a Larsen Trap, where a live decoy is used to entice other birds into the trap. It is used mainly against corvids. It is entirely legal, however, I find it extremely distasteful. The photograph is taken from the gate next to the "triangle" in Peppering Lane at Burpham, West Sussex. Oddly enough I went there with the intention of photographing raptors, following a post on Sussex Ornithological Society's recent sightings page where a birder stated " It's great to see what can be achieved when farming is carried out in tandem with wildlife", a view with which I would have wholeheartedly agreed until today. It is surprising , considering whose estate this is on, that the keepers made no attempt at concealment..  It ruined my day but nothing compared with the future of any corvid.

Deer, Oh Deer!

Early start at Pagham North Wall in yet another attempt to capture some decent Glossy Ibis images - a "no show" meant that I had to be satisfied with all the usual suspects. I dillied and dallied waiting to see what the high tide would bring. Anyway the morning was brightened up when I met Trevor Guy, The Pagham Birder. As usual we stood gassing for 30 minutes on the finer points of large lenses and distant targets when we were overflown by an Osprey, talk about panic. The upshot was that I didn't manage to get a decent shot of the bird which was carrying a large mullet. Check out Trevor's Blog for more info and some fine shots of a Roe Deer and a very recently arrived fawn.

The adult deer had been hanging around all morning just behind Breech Pool, however, when we made our way back to the sluice another birder alerted us to the fawn. Great subject for a long lens as they were not moving too fast. One of those were everyone goes Aaaaaaah!

Proud parent.

The place seems to be alive with Reed Warblers, some of which were very obliging, obviously distracted by nest building activities.

Reed Warbler

Reed Warbler

Reed Warbler

Reed Warbler

"Usual Suspect No.1"

"Usual Suspect No.2"

"Usual Suspect No.3"

Sunday 20 May 2012

Ladies in Red

The first Large Red Damsel Flies Pyrrhosoma nymphula showed in the garden, sunning themselves and drying their wings in the shrubs. I found a total of 5 but could not find any exuviae nearby so I am not sure whether they came from our pond. The first really warm day had the insects out and in the evening there were plenty of micro moths but nothing of any size; additionally a few crane flies were buzzing around the moth light. As things warm up we should see more but as I have said before, this is not a great mothing venue.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly
Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

Nursery Web Spider, Pisaura mirabilis??
Sun Fly Heliophilus pendulas

Epistrophe eligans