Sunday, August 03, 2014

Reserve First!

With a break from boating I spent a pleasant Friday afternoon on the patch. First a visit around Napton-on-the-Hill before heading off to the reservoir prior to the rain setting in.

Spotted flycatcher - One of a dozen around the Napton area.
A very creditable double figure count of Spotted Flycatchers, including several juveniles but I never quite managed to connect with the Common Redstart reported on Richards site during my walk. On to Napton Reservoir with more juveniles as I came across what looked to be a newly fledged family of Little Grebe, four in total. The reservoir continues to drop but very slightly and during my visit a Sparrowhawk flew low over the reed bed, causing mayhem before heading off empty handed.

Yellow Wagtail on the bridge at Napton Reservoir
Common Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail and a brace of Raven over were other notables but very few butterflies on the wing as the cloud cover increased and light rain set in. However, a nice Ruddy Darter dragonfly was my first of the year.

Brandon Chalk-hill Blue
Brandon Marsh this morning produced my first site Purple Hairstreak this year as I passed through New Hare Covert. East Marsh Pool had cleared somewhat from the algae invasion after yesterdays heavy rain and both Little-ringed Plover and Ruff were noted, along with a small passage of a half dozen Swift. Teal Pool held (3) Green Sandpiper and later in the morning a Hobby was hunting overhead and possibly a second bird as we moved around the farm field area.

Chalk-hill Blue - 1st for Brandon Marsh!
I was a very lucky boy after coffee in the nature centre when just as I was about to get into the car to head off home a phone call from Tony Pratley had me scurrying across to the 'Tip' area. Jeff Rankin had discovered a Chalk-hill Blue butterfly, as yet not recorded on the Brandon list. What a wonderful surprise to find both Tony, Jeff and yes, the butterfly showing very well!

Had to indulge myself with a final shot of Chalk-hill Blue