Sunday, 30 August 2015

30th of August: Raptor fest

The week started off on Monday 24th with south-easterly winds and drizzle - perfect conditions for a small fall of migrant birds. On Blakeney Point, raptors were out in numbers, with the highlights being two Ospreys, a Merlin, eleven Marsh Harriers and a Honey Buzzard that flew past the Lifeboat House whilst being mobbed by a Hobby.  
Hobby hunting the Point (Joe Cockram)

Other goodies seen in the Plantation and suaeda belts were: one Icterine Warbler, thirty plus Willow Warblers, nine Whinchats, five Redstarts, two Wrynecks, ten Pied Flycatchers, one Spotted Flycatcher and one Short-eared Owl. A nice selection for those birdwatchers who made the pilgrimage up the Point that day.

On Thursday 27th the first Pink-footed Geese of the year were heard and a Wood Sandpiper gave its distinctive 'chiff-iff-iff' call as it flew overhead.

Yesterday on Saturday 29th Flying ants took to the skies in impressive numbers, which spurred every Black-headed Gull from miles around to have an aerial picnic over the Lifeboat House.
Aerial picnic (Ajay Tegala)

Invertebrates showing themselves this week included good numbers of dragonflies, including Migrant Hawkers, both Common and Ruddy Darters and our largest dragonfly, the Emperor, one of which landed on my face, tickling my lips as it walked around my mouth.
Butterflies out and about at the moment are Graylings, Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, Large and Small Whites and a few Small Coppers the latter of which will be the fourth generation.
The distinctive high pitched buzzing of Long-winged Coneheads can now be heard along the entire length of the Point, as well a few Short-winged Coneheads.
Short-winged Conehead (Matt Twydell)

The Wood Pigeon breeding in the Tamarisk bush is only a couple of days away from hatching.
Wood Pigeon on nest

Don't forget, next Saturday (5th of September) is the Blakeney National Nature Reserve Bioblitz - find more information on how to get involved here.


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