Thursday 20 September 2018

Local Meanderings

Of late most of our trips have been local, ostensibly to find those autumn migrants that hang around for a few days. Well, most of them seem to have passed straight through without a pause. On these outings in Sussex I tend to collect a few photos, not enough for a blog in its own right but rather a diary of several days birding. This eclectic mix of subjects ends up in a single blog just to record the event - as it were.

Visits to the Downs have been most productive, the Buzzards and Ravens up on Chantry and Kithurst provided several hours of entertainment. The Ravens using strong updrafts to perform some amazing aerobatics, usually in pairs but sometimes in groups of four or more. I normally think of a Raven as a lumbering bird, more a heavy bomber than a fighter, not quite true, as these birds proved. Of course, thermals and updrafts have to be shared and the local Buzzards took exception to the Raven's proximity and responded in a typical way, again with some high performance manoeuvring

Unfortunately photographing black birds against a blue sky without adequate sunshine is a recipe for disappointment, still it was great fun to record and a shame that a majority of the shots ended up in the recycle bin.

Lots of small birds about on Chantry, Corn Buntings, and Linnets in big numbers, supported by some very scruffy looking Yellowhammers which were skulking in the bushes.

A "decoration" of Corn Buntings

A couple of Wheatears on Cissbury, Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers in attendance too

 We visited the North Wall at Pagham for the Spoonbill and the Cattle Egrets, plenty of small birds about including Redstarts, Spotties and some Willow Warblers, one of which was finding easy food by raiding a spider's web.

 Butterflies were in evidence too, especially Small Coppers. I particularly wanted to record the blue spotted form Lycaena phlaeas, caerulo-punctata. Well we found a few but none with prominent blue spots, just very small full stops.

Some worn...

With small blue spots

...some new.

On late flowering Hemp Agrimony at Houghton

Apparently Small Coppers are so fast at mating you could blink and miss the event.

Nice looking female Common Blue with nice blue tones.


Brown Argus

Brown Argus

And finally some shots recorded on a walk to the Stilt Pool at Medmerry, we were hoping to see some Clouded Yellows on the abundant Fleabane, unfortunately none obliged.

Two Blues

Two Blues

Adonis Blue

Adonis Blue