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June 2007

Previous months: January 2007 ; February 2007 ; March 2007 ; April 2007 ; May 2007


Saturday 30th June

Another Saturday with too much work (and shopping) and not enough birding. A Single-dotted Wave that must have come in last night was a new species for me. The rain didn't stop some more coming in this evening, including my first Brown-line Bright-eye.

I don't know who was responsible for coming up with common names for the moths and I've no idea what possessed them to call one species Brown-line Bright-eye and another Bright-line Brown-eye. Very confusing, but when you look at them the name is sort-of appropriate. The Willow Beauty on the other hand has a name that seems completely inappropriate. There are some moths for which the term "Beauty" would fit, but in my opinion the Willow Beauty is not one of them. The "Willow" bit isn't very appropriate either as they like all sorts of trees apart from Willows.

Single-dotted Wave, Bawdeswell, 30-Jun-07 Brown-line Bright-eye, Bawdeswell, 30-Jun-07

Single-dotted Wave (left) and Brown-line Bright-eye (right), Bawdeswell, 30th June 2007


Willow Beauty, Bawdeswell, 30-Jun-07  

Willow Beauty, Bawdeswell, 30th June 2007


Friday 29th June

Another Barn Owl hunting at lunch-time (this time at Heacham). I suppose with the weather we're having lately they need to hunt as much as they can when it's not raining too hard.

Riband Wave, Bawdeswell, 29-Jun-07 Riband Wave, Bawdeswell, 29-Jun-07

Riband Waves, Bawdeswell, 29th June 2007


Snout, Bawdeswell, 29-Jun-07  

Snout, Bawdeswell, 29th June 2007


Wednesday 27th June

Brancaster Staithe is a good spot for me to go to at lunchtime in winter as there's often a few waders there and you can stay in the car to photograph them, but in the summer months there's too many people and boats there for it to be much good. Sometimes when the weather's bad and there aren't so many people it's worth stopping there, but I'm yet to see much more than the odd Oystercatcher and things like that in the summer.

Oystercatcher, Brancaster Staithe, 27-Jun-07 Oystercatcher, Brancaster Staithe, 27-Jun-07
Oystercatcher, Brancaster Staithe, 27-Jun-07 Oystercatcher, Brancaster Staithe, 27-Jun-07

Oystercatcher, Brancaster Staithe, 27th June 2007

Only one macro moth this evening, but a new one and one of the most attractive ones I've seen so far, a Barred Yellow. Thanks to Tony Morris for identifying the pyralid: Crambus perlella.

Barred Yellow, Bawdeswell, 27-Jun-07 Crambus perlella, Bawdeswell, 27-Jun-07

Barred Yellow (left) and Crambus perlella (right), Bawdeswell, 27th June 2007


Tuesday 26th June

Rushing to work this morning I came across a large pile of bird in the middle of the road. First a Magpie flew off from what I expected to be a rabbit carcas or something but as I approached closer a Sparrowhawk flew off leaving behind an apparently unharmed juvenile Green Woodpecker. If I hadn't been in such a hurry maybe I'd have been able to photograph all three on top of each other.

At lunch time a Barn Owl hunting at Thornham seemed to have forgotten it was supposed to be tucked up in bed at 1.30 pm.


Sunday 24th June

Had a quick look round Swanton Morley and Foxley Wood this morning. Among 375 feral geese were a Barnacle Goose, a hybrid Greylag x Canada Goose and the ever-present Blue-winged Goose. The first broods of Tufted Ducks and Gadwall have hatched. Unfortunately our Turtle Doves winter in Africa and most of them get shot to pieces by Mediterranean hunters on their way here - they're declining fast and if nothing is done to stop the hunting (stop it, not prohibit it - that doesn't work) they'll probably be extinct before I am. In view of that, five singing Turtle Doves at Swanton Morley was encouraging. Still can't find any Spotted Flycatchers anywhere though.

The dull damp conditions weren't good for insect watching, though plenty of Ringlets on the wing, mainly at Foxley Wood, and moths at Swanton Morley included my first Vapourer (I've seen the caterpillars before but not the adult I don't think) and Yellow Shell. Also saw my first Black-tailed Skimmer of the year at Swanton Morley. Lots of Common Spotted Orchids in flower at Foxley Wood and a single spike of a Marsh Orchid but I'm not sure which species - let me know if you can identify it please!

(Update: a couple of people have suggested the orchid may be a hybrid Common Spotted x Southern Marsh, or possibly even just an odd Common Spotted).

Turtle Dove, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07 Blackcap, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07

Turtle Dove (left) and Chiffchaff (right), Swanton Morley, 24th June 2007 - one of the lucky few Turtle Doves that have so far escaped the hunters' guns when migrating through the Mediterranean


Sedge Warbler, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07 Blackcap, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07

male Sedge Warbler (left) and male Blackcap (right), Swanton Morley, 24th June 2007


Ringlet, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07 Great Crested Grebe, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07

Ringlet (left) and Great Crested Grebe chick (right), Swanton Morley, 24th June 2007


Greylag x Canada Goose, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07 Greylag x Canada Goose, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07

hybrid Greylag Goose x Canada Goose (with Greylag Goose), Swanton Morley, 24th June 2007


Egyptian Goose, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07 Egyptian Goose, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07

Egyptian Goose, Swanton Morley, 24th June 2007. Pale-headed birds like this are not normal, but they occur quite frequently.


Egyptian Goose, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07 Barnacle Goose, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07

a more typical Egyptian Goose (left) and Barnacle Goose (right), Swanton Morley, 24th June 2007


Green Woodpecker, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07 Green Woodpecker, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07

juvenile Green Woodpecker, Swanton Morley, 24th June 2007


Yellow Shell, Swanton Morley, 24-Jun-07

Yellow Shell, Swanton Morley, 24th June 2007


Common Spotted Orchid, Foxley Wood, 24-Jun-07 Marsh Orchid sp., Foxley Wood, 24-Jun-07

Common Spotted Orchid (left) and unidentified Marsh Orchid (right), Foxley Wood, 24th June 2007. Please let me know if you can identify the right hand flower.


Saturday 23rd June

More moths from last night including my first Dark Arches, Cabbage Moth and Bee Moth. I would never have identified the Bee Moth as it's a micro moth, but I chanced upon a photo by Colin Barnes of a similar specimen so I suppose that's what it is. Mind you, the ones on UKmoths don't look quite so similar...

Apologies for the lack of birds but autumn migration will soon be starting and hopefully one day I'll have finished my assignment and be able to get out a bit more.

(Update 24/9/07: Thanks to Tristan for correcting my ID of the Phoenix - which makes this a fourth new species in one evening.)

Dark Arches, Bawdeswell, 22-Jun-07 Cabbage Moth, Bawdeswell, 22-Jun-07

Dark Arches (left) and Cabbage Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 22nd June 2007


Bee Moth, Bawdeswell, 22-Jun-07 Small Blood-vein, Bawdeswell, 22-Jun-07

Bee Moth (left) and Small Blood-vein (right), Bawdeswell, 22nd June 2007


Phoenix, Bawdeswell, 22-Jun-07 Small Dusty Wave, Bawdeswell, 22-Jun-07

Phoenix (left) and Small Dusty Wave (right), Bawdeswell, 22nd June 2007


Snout, Bawdeswell, 22-Jun-07  

Snout, Bawdeswell, 22nd June 2007


Friday 22nd June

Wanted a photograph of Mandarin in eclipse plumage so at lunchtime I went to South Creake to see the resident escapee drake on the pond there. It obliged, although the weather didn't. It's not quite in eclipse plumage, but not far off.

Mandarin, South Creake, 22-Jun-07 Mandarin, South Creake, 22-Jun-07

near-eclipse drake Mandarin, South Creake, 22nd June 2007

The diversity among moths is amazing. Some may be fairly uninspiring to look at (and extremely challenging to identify) but this could not be said about the Buff Ermine that came in last night - a real stunner and my first. It was a good evening for moths with three other new ones and a couple more new for the year. The lifers were Mottled Beauty, Brown Rustic and Snout - I hadn't realised how big Snouts were.

Buff Ermine, Bawdeswell, 21-Jun-07 Small Blood-vein, Bawdeswell, 21-Jun-07

Buff Ermine (left) and Small Blood-vein (right), Bawdeswell, 21st June 2007


Mottled Beauty, Bawdeswell, 21-Jun-07 Double Square-spot, Bawdeswell, 21-Jun-07

Mottled Beauty (left) and Double Square-spot (right), Bawdeswell, 21st June 2007


Brown Rustic, Bawdeswell, 21-Jun-07 Snout, Bawdeswell, 21-Jun-07

Brown Rustic (left) and Snout (right), Bawdeswell, 21st June 2007


Phlyctaenia coronata, Bawdeswell, 21-Jun-07  

Phlyctaenia coronata (I don't know if this micro moth has an English name), Bawdeswell, 21st June 2007


Thursday 21st June

It's not unusual for me to find moth species that I've not seen before but it is unusual to find ones that I've never heard of before. Apparently Coxcomb Prominents are quite common, but they don't sound like they should be with a name like that. And they don't look very common either.

Thanks again to Andy for identifying the Straw Dot for me - not a micro moth after all, just a very small macro moth!

Some more have come in while I've been sorting these out - I'll have to leave them for tomorrow...

Coxcomb Prominent, Bawdeswell, 20-Jun-07 moth sp., Bawdeswell, 20-Jun-07

Coxcomb Prominent (left) and Straw Dot (right), Bawdeswell, 20th June 2007


Wednesday 20th June

(Updated 22nd June)

Marbled, Rusty and Tawny Marbled Minors can't be reliably identified without examining the males' genitalia, which they probably don't like you doing very much. The first time I found a Minor it looked fine for Marbled Minor which I think is the commonest species and the one that was most likely to be flying at the time. Now all three could be flying and these two look most like one Rufous Minor and one Tawny Marbled Minor.

Rufous Minor?, Bawdeswell, 17-Jun-07 Tawny Marbled Minor?, Bawdeswell, 20-Jun-07

probable Rufous Minor (left) and probable Tawny Marbled Minor (right), Bawdeswell, 20th June 2007


Monday 18th June

Whilst watching a Buzzard carry off a Rabbit at Chosely at lunchtime, my pager informed me of a Little Bittern less than a mile away at Titchwell. There's no time in my lunch break to visit Titchwell proper, but the road to Choseley offers a distant vantage point over the reserve so I looked from there in the hope of a flight view. No luck: just a couple of Turtle Doves and Marsh Harriers.

Thanks to Andy for identifying the Small Dusty Wave below (click here for Andy's blog with a nice Monty's photo).

Small Dusty Wave, Bawdeswell, 17-Jun-07 Common Emerald, Bawdeswell, 18-Jun-07

Small Dusty Wave, Bawdeswell, 17th June 2007


Common Emerald, Bawdeswell, 18th June 2007


Common Emerald, Bawdeswell, 17-Jun-07 Common Emerald, Bawdeswell, 17-Jun-07

Common Emerald (same individual as above right), Bawdeswell, 17th June 2007


Sunday 17th June

Popped in to Whitwell Common and Sparham Pools first thing this morning. Not much doing (as you would expect in the middle of June). One surprise though, swimming through a flooded field at Sparham Pools: 2-3 Otters. I've seen them here once before but they're elusive creatures - this time I got a good but brief view of them.

Chaffinch, Sparham Pools, 17-Jun-07

Chaffinch, Sparham Pools, 17th June 2007


Shaggy Inkcap, Sparham Pools, 17-Jun-07 Dark Mullein, Sparham Pools, 17-Jun-07

Shaggy Inkcap (left) and Dark Mullein (right), Sparham Pools, 17th June 2007


Thursday 14th June

A Spectacle was a new moth for me this afternoon (it had come in last night I think) but I've not yet been able to put a name to the Pug from yesterday evening - please let me know if you can... (a worn Double-striped maybe?).

Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 14-Jun-07 Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 14-Jun-07

Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 14th June 2007


Garden Pebble, Bawdeswell, 14-Jun-07 Spectacle, Bawdeswell, 14-Jun-07

Garden Pebble, Bawdeswell, 14th June 2007

unidentified Pug, Bawdeswell, 13th June 2007


Tuesday 12th June

Popped in to Thornham at lunchtime today:

Oystercatcher, Thornham, 12-Jun-07 Avocet, Thornham, 12-Jun-07

Oystercatcher (left) and Avocet (right), Thornham, 12th June 2007

A couple of nice moths last night including my first Blood-vein, as well as another pesky pug:

Blood-vein, Bawdeswell, 11-Jun-07 Blood-vein, Bawdeswell, 11-Jun-07

Blood-vein (left) and Brimstone Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 11th June 2007


Common Pug, Bawdeswell, 11-Jun-07  

Common Pug (I think), Bawdeswell, 11th June 2007


Sunday 10th June

Nothing remarkable at Sparham Pools today, but a few bits and pieces like Nuthatches, Marsh Tit and Grey Wagtail that I've not being seeing much recently. I've always struggled to separate Common Blue Damselflies from Azure Damselflies unless I get a good enough look to see the marking on the base of the abdomen, but this year I've noticed a difference in habit/habitat preferences which is quite useful. I'm sure more seasoned dragonfly watchers have known this for years, but I've only noticed recently that Azure Damselflies prefer bigger vegetation and tend to rest on larger flat leaves like Brambles and Nettles, whereas Common Blue Damselflies seem to prefer more open, grassy areas. It's always nice when you discover something like this for yourself, although I don't suppose it will prove to be a very reliable difference.

Kingfisher, Sparham Pools, 10-Jun-07 Blue-tailed Damselfly, Sparham Pools, 10-Jun-07

Kingfisher (left) and Blue-tailed Damselfly (right), Sparham Pools, 10th June 2007


Azure Damselfly, Sparham Pools, 10-Jun-07 Azure Damselfly, Sparham Pools, 10-Jun-07

male & female Azure Damselflies, Sparham Pools, 10th June 2007


Azure Damselfly, Sparham Pools, 10-Jun-07  

Common Blue Damselfly, Sparham Pools, 10th June 2007


Saturday 9th June

I don't think any of the 4 British records of White-tailed Plover were twitchable and the last one was in 1984, so you'd have to be a fool to miss the chance to see one in this country when the chance comes. Well, this week the chance came for many, but Dumfries & Galloway is too far for me to get to before or after work (my brother tried it from Kent and failed). It was still there yesterday so I was really keen to head up today. Unfortunately though (or not, as it turned out), my diploma's assignment deadline is looming large and I reluctantly took the decision that I really couldn't afford the time to drive to Scotland and back. This proved to be a fortunate choice as the plover couldn't be found by those who travelled up today and I enjoyed a good half-morning's local birding instead!

Swanton Morley was good first thing - nothing out of the ordinary but lots of variety (65 species). A Common Sandpiper was a late spring migrant. Where waders are concerned there's not much gap between the end of the spring migration and the beginning of the autumn migration: autumn migrants will be moving through before the end of this month. A juvenile Grey Wagtail provided confirmation that the species had bred successfully in the area. A Marsh Tit was the first I'd seen there for a few weeks and 1-2 Kingfishers were nice.

Cuckoo, Swanton Morley, 9-Jun-07 Common Tern, Swanton Morley, 9-Jun-07

male Cuckoo (left) and Common Tern (right), Swanton Morley, 9th June 2007


Blue-winged Goose, Swanton Morley, 9-Jun-07 Egyptian Goose, Swanton Morley, 9-Jun-07

escaped Blue-winged Goose (left) and Egyptian Goose (right), Swanton Morley, 9th June 2007

I decided I'd just got time to pop in to Bintree Wood before heading home to work on my assignment. Here the Barn Owl was still present and a Willow Tit was heard calling but not much else until I walked back towards the car along the north edge of the wood, although butterflies included my first Meadow Brown and Large Skipper for the year.

The main incentive for visiting this place is my hunch that it would be a good spot for birds of prey and it certainly has proved to be the best spot in my 5 km circle for raptors. It wasn't until fairly recently that I twigged that the wood I'm looking towards from the north edge is the same wood that's overlooked by the Great Ryburgh raptor watchpoint, although it's a lot further away from Bintree Wood. Today visibility wasn't great and the odds of picking up and being able to identify one of the Great Ryburgh Honey-Buzzards were slim - indeed at first I couldn't find any raptors at all. Then eventually a bird appeared - and quickly revealed a long forked tail: it was a Red Kite! Although well over towards Guist when I picked it up it flew straight towards me and over my head giving superb views although cleverly avoiding the camera's viewfinder. This was just the start - within ten minutes I'd seen four species of raptor including Hobby and Marsh Harrier, plus a distant Little Egret!

A few weeks ago, at the height of spring migration, I made a concerted effort to see as many species as I could in my 5 km circle in a day. I managed a pawtry 81 species. Today, without making any effort at all, without rising until after dawn, and without visiting one of the main sites in the area, I'd noted 76 species by 10.30 in the morning. If it wasn't for my assignment I could have gone back out and found another half dozen quite easily (actually, if it wasn't for my assignment I'd be dipping on White-tailed Plover in Scotland).

Yellowhammer, Bintree Wood, 9-Jun-07 Large Skipper, Bintree Wood, 9-Jun-07

male Yellowhammer (left) and Large Skipper (right), Bintree Wood, 9th June 2007


Monday 4th June

Common Swift, Bawdeswell, 4-Jun-07 Netelia sp., Bawdeswell, 3-Jun-07

Common Swift, Bawdeswell, 4th June 2007

Ichnewmon Fly, Bawdeswell, 3rd June 2007 - originally had this down as possible Gasteruption jaculator but now think it's Netelia sp., perhaps Netelia testaceus


Sunday 3rd June

A couple of hours at Swanton Morley produced a Hobby and a few Red-eyed Damselflies. For the second day running, failed to clinch what was almost certainly a Hairy Dragonfly - haven't seen one of those well for years though they're supposed to be common enough.

Pochard, Swanton Morley, 3-Jun-07 Pochard, Swanton Morley, 3-Jun-07

female Pochard, Swanton Morley, 3rd June 2007


Red-eyed Damselfly, Swanton Morley, 3-Jun-07 Red-eyed Damselfly, Swanton Morley, 3-Jun-07

Red-eyed Damselflies, Swanton Morley, 3rd June 2007


Banded Demoiselle, Swanton Morley, 3-Jun-07 Mute Swans, Swanton Morley, 3-Jun-07

female Banded Demoiselle (left) and Mute Swan cygnets (right), Swanton Morley, 3rd June 2007


Saturday 2nd June

Today the monthly birdwatch group that I help with went to Lackford Lakes near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. We were serranaded by Nightingales as soon as we arrived and Cuckoos were calling all over the place. A Green Sandpiper was presumably a late spring migrant and other waders included Little Ringed Plover. Plenty of common birds to keep the group entertained, although the Kingfisher only provided a fleeting view. Other wildlife included some fine Banded Demoiselles, Four-spotted Chasers and Red-eyed Damselflies amongst the hordes of Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies.

Coot, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07 Coot, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07

Coots, Lackford Lakes, 2nd June 2007


Moorhen, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07 Moorhen, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07

Moorhen, Lackford Lakes, 2nd June 2007


Barnacle Goose, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07 Canada Goose, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07

Barnacle Goose (left) and Canada Goose (right), Lackford Lakes, 2nd June 2007


Gadwall, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07 Muntjac, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07

Gadwall (left) and Muntjac (right), Lackford Lakes, 2nd June 2007


Four-spotted Chaser, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07 Banded Demoiselle, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07

Four-spotted Chaser (left) and female Banded Demoiselle (right), Lackford Lakes, 2nd June 2007


Red-eyed Damselfly, Lackford Lakes, 2-Jun-07  

Red-eyed Damselfly, Lackford Lakes, 2nd June 2007


Friday 1st June

I can't believe it's June already! What happened to May?

Lunchtime was spent at Abbey Farm, Flitcham. A few years ago a feral Barnacle Goose bred with a feral White-fronted Goose at Raynham Lake and since then there's been 2-3 odd hybrids knocking around the area, presumed to be this pair's offspring.

Adult Moorhens are very smart-looking birds but in the space of a few weeks baby Moorhens go from being cute to ugly to dull. Here's one that's definitely at the ugly stage:

Moorhen, Flitcham, 1-Jun-07 Hybrid Goose, Flitcham, 1-Jun-07

Moorhen chick (left) and presumed hybrid Barnacle Goose x White-fronted Goose (right), Flitcham, 1st June 2007


Shelduck, Flitcham, 1-Jun-07 Shelduck, Flitcham, 1-Jun-07

Shelducks (adult & duckling), Flitcham, 1st June 2007


Gadwall, Flitcham, 1-Jun-07 Gadwall, Flitcham, 1-Jun-07

male Gadwalls, Flitcham, 1st June 2007


Previous months: January 2007 ; February 2007 ; March 2007 ; April 2007 ; May 2007

Next month: July 2007

Current month


Should anyone care about my 5 km circle year-list, I've now seen (or heard) 113 species within 5 km of my home at Bawdeswell (birds marked with an asterisk * are new this month):

  • Mute Swan
  • Greylag Goose
  • Canada Goose
  • Barnacle Goose
  • Egyptian Goose
  • Shelduck
  • Gadwall
  • Teal
  • Mallard
  • Shoveler
  • Pochard
  • Tufted Duck
  • Goldeneye
  • Goosander
  • Red-legged Partridge
  • Grey Partridge
  • Pheasant
  • Little Grebe
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Cormorant
  • Shag
  • Little Egret
  • Grey Heron
  • Honey-Buzzard
  • Red Kite *
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Buzzard
  • Kestrel
  • Hobby
  • Peregrine
  • Water Rail
  • Moorhen
  • Coot
  • Oystercatcher
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Golden Plover
  • Lapwing
  • Snipe
  • Woodcock
  • Bar-tailed Godwit
  • Green Sandpiper
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Black-headed Gull
  • Common Gull
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Great Black-backed Gull
  • Common Tern
  • Stock Dove
  • Woodpigeon
  • Collared Dove
  • Turtle Dove
  • Cuckoo
  • Barn Owl
  • Little Owl
  • Tawny Owl
  • Swift
  • Kingfisher
  • Green Woodpecker
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Skylark
  • Sand Martin
  • Swallow
  • House Martin
  • Meadow Pipit
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Wren
  • Dunnock
  • Robin
  • Wheatear
  • Ring Ouzel
  • Blackbird
  • Fieldfare
  • Song Thrush
  • Redwing
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Cetti's Warbler
  • Sedge Warbler
  • Reed Warbler
  • Lesser Whitethroat
  • Whitethroat
  • Garden Warbler
  • Blackcap
  • Chiffchaff
  • Willow Warbler
  • Goldcrest
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Marsh Tit
  • Willow Tit
  • Coal Tit
  • Blue Tit
  • Great Tit
  • Nuthatch
  • Treecreeper
  • Jay
  • Magpie
  • Jackdaw
  • Rook
  • Carrion Crow
  • Starling
  • House Sparrow
  • Chaffinch
  • Brambling
  • Greenfinch
  • Goldfinch
  • Siskin
  • Linnet
  • Lesser Redpoll
  • Bullfinch
  • Yellowhammer
  • Reed Bunting



  • Blue-winged Goose
  • Chiloe Wigeon
  • Night Heron