Summer surprises.


Having recently invested in a new tyre for my bike I headed out around the West Hethersett loop followed by the around the Wong section of my local walks one evening last week to check out the wildlife and my fitness. I only managed to find one of my alleged 18 gears but that was enough to get round. I narrowly missed a couple of roe deer as I left the village and headed to the Great Melton Reservoir. Once there for a quick stop I got to watch a single fishing common tern and listened to the calling green woodpecker in the soft late evening light.

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Often heard and rarely seen the green woodpecker

Green woodpecker  Credit: kban2011 Flickr via Compfight cc

I saw little of interest until the approach to Wong Farm where I saw three brown hares which soon made themselves scarce. As I cycled through the farm itself I was surprised at the lack of swallows but clearly they go to bed before 9.30pm. As I progressed out of the farm I caught a brief view of a local fox who clearly doesn’t go to bed quite so early. The fox was followed by a muntjac deer to add to my mammal count which was concluded at home with a young hedgehog in my back garden.

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Roe deer one of many mammals from my cycling extravaganza.

Having seen the common tern I thought it would be a good week to check out my local WEBS patch and get a count done of the water birds. As I arrived there wasn’t the usual cacophony of bird song and although it was grey we are clearly slipping into that quite post breeding time when a lot of birds are moulting  and staying quiet. A slightly plaintiff Chiffchaff was the only real songster. There were plenty of butterflies and dragonflies filling the air so I set about trying to catch some on film. These are the best of them:

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There be dragons. A Southern Hawker rarely stopping except to finish off a snack.

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Delicate beauty of a green veined white supping on brambles.

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Not the best photo but included as I usually overlook this a gatekeeper.

The big butterfly count started a couple of days ago so why not check out the link (click Here) and find your own overlooked flappy friends. Butterflies were it turned out not alone in my afternoon stroll and I caught another record shot of one of many day flying moths.

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A shaded broad bar common but new to me (to be fair all moths are pretty much new to me)

I was shaken out of my insect world by a chorus of shrill cries overhead as a pair of recently fledged common terns pestered their parents for food. When I got down to the lake all the fluffy youngsters from just a couple of weeks ago were flying. It is difficult to comprehend how fast our spring birds produce grown families. On the lake Great crested grebes were sat brooding a second set of young and oystercatchers fed a downy black and white youngster.

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Striking adult Oystercatcher soon to be matched by their offspring.

Clearly although only mid July the summer is starting to shift through its gears and already some birds are starting to prepare for seasonal moves and migrations. My usual couple of pairs of lapwings were joined by a flock of 66 more and then whilst scanning a gravel bank I picked out a delightful pair of little ringed plovers and a dunlin. The dunlin pictured below is a bird that appears out of place away from the coast and this little wader is only the second record on my patch in the last ten years.

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Splendid addition to my weeks observations a scampering dunlin 

 Dunlin Credit: Ilya Povalyaev Flickr via Compfight cc

No guest video this week as the most prolific visitors to my cameras have been brown rats and not particularly photogenic. Fortunately I have the cameras back in my garden this week so perhaps something a bit more videogenic for next week. In the meantime dont forget the back catalogue is available HERE.

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