It was a case of 'what to do' this morning as at this time of year everything has slowed down and Spring draws to an end. Usually I am a 'first light merchant' when it comes to birding and if I can't get out at first light will often not bother. But not today. I decided to have a lazy morning and went out birding mid-morning.
My first job was to empty my moth trap and I noticed that I had caught an unusual looking fly species. After a bit of research on the 'net' I found out that it was a type of Ichneumon Wasp belonging to the Ophion genera. I tried to photograph it in the egg carton but it flew off to the willows and I could only get the shot below. It is a parasitic species and lays its eggs in the caterpillars of moths!
I only caught four moths of four species and these were Heart and Dart, Flame shoulder, Common Quaker and Spectacle. The Spectacle was a first for my garden and below are a couple of pictures of it. The first illustrates why it has its name!
Before I headed off to Riossall School with Gail I noticed that the Blue Tits in my garden box were being encouraged out by the parents. After I had returned from the 'obs' I checked the box and all had fledged. Mind you I say all as there were three dead young in the box, so actually five out of the eight managed to fledge successfully.
I knew it would be pretty quiet at the 'obs' but I wanted to take the ropes off the net rides that we had used during the Spring as it would probably be August before we are ringing again there for the autumn.
On our walk round plenty of breeding birds were in evidence including four singing male Whitethroats, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, a couple of Linnets, Swallows, a pair of Reed Buntings, 3 singing Sedge Warblers and one each of singing Grasshopper and Reed Warbler. A quick scan of the sea revealed nothing other than a male Eider.
On our way home we called at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park to see if we could work out how many young the Great Crested Grebes had. After we eventually found them we could see that they had four very small young. On the 'deep' pool there were good numbers of Coot broods from small fluffy 'red-headed' chicks to older grey and white juv.'s.
Birding the Holy City - Back home in the UK now, and I have one last post to share from my short visit to Israel. After the quick trip down south, I was based in Jerusalem. I was ...
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