Sunday, May 18, 2014

Butterflies & Odanata

Visits to Brandon Marsh Thursday, Friday and Sunday produced few surprises on the birding front and I was unlucky to miss a Sanderling on East Marsh Pool today, which was reported shortly after I'd left. Friday produced (3) Grass Snake, my first Large White butterfly of the year and excellent views of a ♀Cuckoo, bubbling away as she flew over Newlands reed bed. I estimate at least two pair are currently on site.

Drinker Moth caterpillar
On arrival this morning a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling on the top reeds as I drove down to the car park. When I eventually got to East Marsh Hide I was sad to hear that the four Redshank young, which I thought had been doing so well, had unfortunately been predated.

Common Red Damselfly
With the birding generally quiet the rest of the morning was spent with a few of the guys messing around with our bridge cameras: Common Blue and Large Red Damselflies were plentiful, along with a couple of Drinker Moth caterpillars. Butterflies included Orange-tip, Brimstone, Peacock and Green-vein White.

This afternoon Dee and I had a stroll locally around Stockton Cutting Nature Reserve, strangely enough somewhere we've never tried, even though it's right on our doorstep. Here we met up with Bob Hazell and his wife, does he ever go anywhere without his scope! After a catch up with Bob we had a cracking visit with some excellent butterflies including: Small Blue, Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Brimstone, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper and Large White. A couple of Hairy dragonfly ended an enjoyable visit.

Dingy Skipper
Grizzled Skipper

Also worth noting that while writing my post this evening a Barn Owl flew directly over the boat calling, amazingly my first local bird of the year!