Thursday 28 April 2011

White Stork and Hairy Fairy

After having missed the (would have been a lifer) Purple Heron last Saturday whilst at work I was a bit worried when yesterday, again while at work, I missed a call from Phil. Turned out that it was a White Stork this time, again in front of the Colyford Common hide. It wasn't another potential lifer but was a patch tick. Fortunately it stayed long enough for me to see it distantly from the 'Farm Gate' viewpoint at around 8.30pm. Better than nothing. This morning I got back down to Colyford Common just as soon as I could (which wasn't as soon as Phil and Steve who'd been and gone before I got my idle carcass down there!) I was hoping to get there before the sun rose from behind the hills to the east. I didn't. The morning sun makes viewing, and especially photography, quite tricky from the Colyford hide. Still the sun wasn't too fierce and no heat haze had developed yet allowing me to get better digiscoped shots than I'd expected. A few other (keen) birders from Devon and Somerset arrived during the half hour or so I was there. The bird was feeding along the edge of the main scrape until two Canada Geese flew in honking loudly and gesturing at it until it moved off into the grass. It was still present at 6.50am when I left but a couple of later scans from the Farm Gate drew a blank. Great bird to see on patch, better than a Purple Heron any day! ;-)

Other Birds on Colyford Common Scrape
Grey Heron
Common Sandpiper.
The Stork kept lunging at this Sandpiper, shooing it off, but it kept coming back for more...brave or stupid? Probably just too quick!
Canada Geese.
Sent it packing.

Now for a bit of other stuff I haven't had chance to get on here. Last Wednesday, well I think it was, I went over to Orcombe Point in the hope of seeing a male Sardinian Warbler. I dipped. It was a lovely sunny day though and I'd been meaning to visit to see the spectacular swathes of Green- winged Orchids which grow on the cliff top pastures here. They were indeed a real spectacle. Having said that I wasn't too sorry to leave because the sunny weather had also brought out swathes of scantily clad holiday makers, the scantily clad ones invariably being the overweight, middle-aged male ones! Euck! It was also most disheartening to see at least one of these oiks ( I mean respected fellow humans) picking an orchid! Polite words from another birder and myself were met with  much rudeness and the customary "Well there are loads of them, one wont matter" ...  ******* oiks!!
Swathes of Green-winged Orchids
One of the nicer sights at Orcombe Point!
I've been walking Rex on Axe Cliff for the last few days and though I haven't seen many birds of note I've seen a few interesting bits and bobs, including a new moth for me Adela reaumurella. It's from the family Adelidae or the Fairy Longhorns.
 The unofficial common name for these is the Green Fairy Longhorn but I reckon it should be the Hairy Fairy Longhorn, I mean, just look at the two on either side!
 The wings are iridescent and look green in some lights and coppery or black in others.
 Here the upper wings look green and the lower wings are a bronze colour. It's glaringly obvious why they are called longhorns....
Yesterday I saw my first Common Blue of the year, earliest I've ever seen this species. 
Look closely, it's got a passenger!
 This Pink Campion is a hybrid between Red Campion and ( believe it or not) White Campion.
  Whilst walking into the long grass to get this photo I disturbed half a dozen or so of these.
Common Lizard
Whilst taking a photo of Green Alkanet this landed on it. Looks pretty scary.
It eats nectar though. It's called Rhingia campestris one of the Hoverflies.
Pretty darn ugly though eh?...But....
...Not as ugly as this!! 
I think it's the larva of the Bloody-nosed Beetle? Whatever it is though, it's almost as easy on the eye as the Orcombe Point sun worshippers!


Anonymous said...

Great post supported by some great pics, Karen.

Nat and Baileys the Goldie said...

Still reading and enjoying your blog. I get to learn about loads of creatures I'd probably miss otherwise- this monring a fairy longhorn landed on my bench and I instantly knew what it was thanks to your blog :-)

Karen Woolley said...

Thanks Dean! :-)

Natalie - Thanks! Glad to here you're reading my blog still.. and that my interest in little insignificant creepy- crawlies as actually proved useful to someone :-)