By the time July came along it was obvious we were in for a reasonable summer. The temperatures were up, moths were becoming much more prevalent as well as the butterflies and, as usual for July, the birds had all be disappeared. Most records therefore pertain to insects.
A dedicated butterfly/bird recording walk on the 2nd realised 27 species of bird, with evidence of breeding moorhen, coot, garden warbler and blackcap. 5 species of butterfly were noted including this two; a small tortoiseshell and a speckled wood.
Rest of the details of this trip below.
I began August in The Camargue, where I walked many miles and saw a few new birds for me in this area. A squacco heron as well as a black crowned night heron were pleasing finds along with numerous wood sandpipers etc. Clouded yellow butterflies were ubiquitous.In all, a super 3 days with over 80 species seen including many wonderful beeaters.
|black winged stilt|
Later in the week I returned to this site and got a distant common sandpiper, only the 2nd record for the parish. I finished off with a trip to North Norfolk. Plenty was on offer, without anything being new for the year. Another redstart shown here along with a chinese water deer noted at Titchwell.
All in all, a superb month.
September started with a 3 day trip down to the bird observatory at Portland. Always a great place to stay and fingers crossed for weather that would bring in migrants. Unfortunately this was not the case but it didn't stop me adding several to the year list: namely, raven, peregrine, tree pipit, shag, balearic shearwater, nightingale and a solitary pomarine skua. This took my total for 2013 to 197.
Upon arrival, I was greeted with thick fog. This didn't bode well but it lifted and sea watching plus trips to various island sites as well as Lodmoor, Ferrybridge and Radipole meant I had a great time. I took the trap out to Culverwell where I took, in pouring rain, a total of 8 vestals. All good stuff.
|little owl; obs quarry|
|ringed kestrel with assistant warden Joe Stockwell on the patio of the obs.|
|spotted flycatcher, obs garden|
|wheatear, The Bill|
|Clouded yellow, Suckthumb quarry|
|Rock Pipit, The Bill|
Back home, a wander around on the 10th gave another opportunity to see my 2nd common sandpiper in the parish whilst also coming across a humming bird hawkmoth in the garden. This splendid creature stayed for the best part of the week, but never in enough sunshine to manage a good quality fast photo.
The following day I managed a brief walk and came across the first local ruddy darter of the year. A regular insect around the River Ash in early autumn.
Later on, on the 14th, I was booked to give an illustrated talk to the members of Hornchurch RSPB local group. Consequently, I spent several hours enjoying a walk around Rainham Marsh Reserve on the Thames. Here, albeit a foggy day, I saw plenty. A spotted redshank (below) was surely the highlight as well as many regular birds: hobby, kestrel, snipe etc. A water vole appeared to be very happy to pose for some photos. Also, a lapwing, shown here, decided to show off with some upside down flying. Very spectacular.
Finally, for this month, I had a local wander on the 26th of the month where I managed to record many regulars for the parish, including this comma butterfly. Dew was hinting that autumn was on its way and many spiders' webs did indeed look autumnal.
The final instalment will be prepared over the forthcoming days. I find it amazing at how quickly time has flown this year, plus the range of species and creatures I have seen by just wandering around a local parish in East Hertfordshire. A real treat and privilege.