Sunday, 10 June 2018

Marsh Sandpiper - Pennington Marsh 10th June

While at our cottage in Cowley, Cheltenham with Trevor and Julie Codlin, news of a Marsh Sandpiper at Pennington Marsh broke as we were relaxing in the garden with a cup of tea. It was not long before Trevor and I hatched a plan to head down and see the bird. So, after tidying the house, loading the cars and saying our farewells to wife's we set off on the two hour drive. The drive went well although, as was expected, it was slow going when we reached the New Forest. Parking in the carpark at Lower Pennington Lane, it was not long before Trevor and I were enjoying good views of this adult summer bird as it fed daintly on the pools to the rear of Fishtail Lagoon. While scope views were good there was a lot of heat haze and my photographs are fairly rubbish. Also here were four Avocet, three Spoonbill, Peregrine and nine Eider. The Marsh Sandpiper was last reported at 21:00, come the 11th June the bird had departed.

There are 140 accepted British records of Marsh Sandpiper and four Hampshire records as follows:
  • 28th July 2006 - Farlington Marshes
  • 28th July to 4th August 1983 - Pennington Marshes
  • 5th to 11th July 1977 - Farlington Marshes
  • 27th to 28th June 1976 - Farlington Marshes

Marsh Sandpiper - Pennington Marsh, Hampshire

Marsh Sandpiper - Pennington Marsh, Hampshire

Marsh Sandpiper - Pennington Marsh, Hampshire

Marsh Sandpiper - Pennington Marsh, Hampshire

Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh - The Marsh Sandpiper was feeding on the small pool at the rear of the main lagoon

Cotswold Weekend - 9th and 10th June

We spent the weekend at our cottage in Cowley in the Cotswolds with our good friends Trevor and Julie Codlin. Trevor and I ran the moth trap on both Friday and Saturday night recording a good range of spring and early summer species. On Sunday we headed out looking for butterflies. First we visited Daneway Banks Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Reserve where we had reasonable views of recently emerged Large Blue. Speaking to a chap who we met at the reserve who worked on the Large Blue Recovery Project it would appear that the peak count of Large Blue at this site has been 63, we were perhaps a week or two early for such large numbers.

Large Blue - Daneway Banks GWT Reserve

Large Blue - Daneway Banks GWT Reserve

Common Blue - Daneway Banks GWT Reserve

Daneway Banks GWT Reserve - We found our first Large Blue in the far area of grassland in this image

We then headed for Three Groves Wood GWT Reserve only a few miles away but it seemed like an eternity as we weaved through the narrow Cotswold Lanes. The main target here was Marsh Fritillary and we soon found up to 13 of these beautiful insects as they fed on the numerous yellow composites flowering in the grassland.


Marsh Fritillary - Grove Wood GWT Nature Reserve

Marsh Fritillary - Grove Wood GWT Nature Reserve

Lesser Butterfly Orchid - Grove Wood GWT Nature Reserve

Lesser Butterfly Orchid - Grove Wood GWT Nature Reserve

Ghost Swift - Cowley, Cheltenham

Clay Triple-lines- Cowley, Cheltenham

Ingrailed Clay- Cowley, Cheltenham

Grass Rivulet - Cowley, Cheltenham

Pale Tussock - Cowley, Cheltenham

Small Angle Shades - Cowley, Cheltenham

Reddish Light Arches - Cowley, Cheltenham

Shoulder-striped Wainscot - Cowley, Cheltenham

Buff Ermine showing variation in colour and markings - Cowley, Cheltenham

Dot Moth- Cowley, Cheltenham

Iron Prominent - Cowley, Cheltenham

Iron Prominent - Cowley, Cheltenham

Green Silver-lines - Cowley, Cheltenham

Friday, 8 June 2018

Pennington Marsh and Denny Wood - 8th June

After dropping Tobias at school I spent a short amount of time at Pennington Marsh and Denny Wood. At Pennington it was fairly quiet with most birds settled down to breed. I recorded eight Reed Warbler and six Whitethroat on territory around the loop that extends from Lower Pennington Lane car park to the Jetty and then back around between Butts and Fishtail Lagoon - numbers appear to be marginally down on previous years. A Cuckoo sang from the scrub to the north of Jetty Lagoon, this bird seemingly settled on territory. On the mudflats were 12 Eider and two Whimbrel. On Fishtail Lagoon there were two Little Tern, four Avocet, three Spoonbill, a single Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Dunlin and two Teal. A short walk around Denny Wood produced nine Redstart and a pair of Garden Warbler with a well grown, fledged chick. I have always struggled with separating the song of Garden Warbler and Blackcap, but having spent some time with the singing bird today at Denny Wood (see recording below) I think I have the differences settled in my head, the song below is fairly different from my recording of a Blackcap here.

Female Beautiful Demoiselle - Denny Wood

Garden Warbler in Song - Denny Wood

Avocet - Pennington Marsh

Avocet - Pennington Marsh

Common Tern - Pennington Marsh

Common Tern - Pennington Marsh

Friday, 1 June 2018

Cornwall Weekend - 1st and 2nd June

A weekend in Cornwall produced very little on the bird front but I did manage to dip both the Iberian Chiffchaff at Hayle and the Baird's Sandpiper at Marazion. The birding highlight was this mixed flock of summer plumaged Sanderling and Dunlin at Marazion.