Sunday, June 09, 2019

πŸ“– Unsettled Week Locally πŸ’¨

☁️ 🌧 ⛅️ ⛈πŸ’¨ 12C/20C Sunday 9th June 2019 ~ With the jetstream firmly positioned to the southeast of the UK the past week has remained unsettled, with a little bit of everything thrown in over the period. Storm Miguel moved through on Friday/Saturday and produced some strong winds with a gust of 39mph recorded on the onboard weather station, along with over 2 inches of rain.

Managed to capture this image from the boat window of an adult Reed Warbler collecting food. 
This week I've spent time around the marina and locally but despite the weather, the reedbeds have been a hive of activity with at least two fledged families of Reed Warblers along the mooring. A Lesser Whitethroat has also been singing regularly and the odd Common Tern drops in occasionally to fish.

My 1st Large Skipper of the year at the marina.
There hasn't been much butterfly activity, the cooler conditions playing their part but I did manage to find my first Large Skipper of the year along the west bank of the moorings.

Still image of the Chiffchaff Sp. at Draycote Water.
On Wednesday afternoon I took a walk along Farborough Bank at Draycote Water, managing to dodge the heavy showers and spent a little time watching, filming, recording and listening to a Chiffchaff along the boardwalk. From reading local social media some believe this is a possible Iberian Chiffchaff and some have decided its a Willow Warbler, another possibility thrown into the mix is a hybrid bird like those found in a small area of the western Pyrenees. I have to say that I'm no expert on the subject, although I've encountered Iberian Chiffchaffs during my many visits to Spain. The bird's song does have a few of the characteristics of the birds I've heard but its pretty mixed and my recording doesn't seem to capture the distinctive and some would say diagnostic contact call similar to that of a Reed Bunting or Siskin and so the actual origin of this particular bird will likely remain unresolved for some.

The first Meadow Browns are beginning to appear.
On Friday morning a short visit to Brandon Marsh before Storm Miguel arrived didn't produce anything new to get excited about. The highlights on East Marsh Pool, 6/8 Little-ringed Plovers, 4 Oystercatchers with 5 young, 2 Redshank their three young sadly predated, juvenile Caspian Gull, 2 Shelduck and plenty of Cuckoo activity. The nesting Common Terns do have young but I couldn't determine how many and the Sand Martin structures were also busy with birds constantly visiting. Today's visit was much of the same but with the first Meadow Brown of the year emerging and a Red Kite drifting over the centre mid-morning which was I think my first on the reserve this year! 

A stop at Stockton Cutting on route home also produced a Meadow Brown, along with Dingy Skipper, Brimstone and Common Blue but frustratingly the sun disappeared and I still haven't managed to connect with Small Blue this year. A small number of White-legged Damselfly were also noted.

Lots of Orchids to be found with Common Spotted and Greater Butterfly photographed below.

White-legged Damselfly

Greater Butterfly Orchid ~ Taskers Meadow/Stockton Cutting

Common Spotted Orchid ~ Taskers Meadow/Stockton Cutting

Closer view of Greater Butterfly Orchid ~ Taskers Meadow/Stockton Cutting