Saturday, 17 September 2016

Curlew Sandpipers at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire

A few weeks ago there were over 250 of these lovely waders at nearby Frampton Marsh. There are normally a few of these birds that turn up at various sites around the east every year, including Frampton, but I can't remember ever hearing of 250+. A real jewel in the RSPB, this site seems to be only watched by the locals and doesn't attract the numbers that Titchwell and Minsmere do, for whatever reason.

Josh Jones has written a very good article on Frampton Marsh, which can be found here.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Spoonbill at Alkborough Flats, Lincolnshire

You can just make out the yellow patch on the birds' throat. I think that this is the remnants of breeding plumage

This adult Spoonbill was the only photographed bird yesterday on my twitch to see the Western Swamphen that has been frequenting the reed beds and marshes of Alkborough Flats in north Lincolnshire for the past couple of weeks. 'Swampy' was seen, after 6 hours on site, but at a distance of over half a mile and so photography was not an option. It made a nice change to see a Spoonbill without its' head tucked firmly under its' wing and therefore to see its' spatula shaped bill, or should that be spoon-shaped?

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Willow Emerald Damselfly at Kings Dyke NR, Cambridgeshire

Note the obvious 'spur' marking on the thorax. A key feature of this species

You can just about make out the pale wing spots, or pterostigma, another key feature

A damselfly with very few 20th century records in the U.K., but first seen in regular numbers in Suffolk in 2009. This species has been steadily moving eastwards over the past few years and has now been sighted in the Peterborough area on at least two occasions, one of which being the sighting that I had at Kings Dyke nature reserve a few weeks ago.

Not being a dragonfly or damselfly expert, I quite happily took the above photos without realising the importance of the sighting, or what species I was actually photographing. I knew it was an emerald type damselfly because of the colour of the individual, but it wasn't until I looked at the photos in greater detail and cross referencing with my dragonfly field guide, that I realised the individual was a Willow Emerald Damselfly (I think a female). A new species for the reserve and only the second in the Peterborough area, with the first being a week previous to mine.