Cley.Norfolk.20th May 2009.

Collared Pratincole. Cley, Norfolk.

After deciding to move from Blakeney to Cley in the hope of seeing the Collared pratincole at some time of the day, I was greeted by a line of birders watching something in the eye field not far from the car park.

And sure enough it was the Collared'. And remarkably similar in actions as the Black winged pratincole at Stodmarsh, it was hiding up in the wind behind a patch of grass, and when it did venture out it returned to the shelter of the same spot.

Now being able to compare the two, the Collared seemed a tad paler and at times the Black winged showed a darkish cap, the obvious difference was the wings and I was able to compare both. The rich red underwing on the Collared stood out as it banked and turned in flight and facing away the white edge to the secondries was obvious.
Another new species and two pratincoles this month, couldnt be sweeter.

Blakeney.Norfolk.May 20th 2009.

An early morning start in the hope of connecting with the Woodchat shrike at Blakeney proved to be negative as after over 2 hours searching there was no sign of the shrike. And so it was just the common birds there to be used as image fodder!.

Luckily for me the Black winged pratincole had stayed around all week, and so on the morning of Mon' 18th I headed off very early to try and connect. On arrival there was just one other bloke in the hide and as of yet he had not seen the bird. Half an hour passed and still nothing other than a drake Garganey and male Marsh harrier and plenty of vocals and sightings of Cuckoo,Cetti's,Reed and Sedge warbler. There were good numbers of swifts feeding and luckily the weather was holding out.

Whilst scanning I saw something scurry along the ground and there it was, the bloke next to me got onto it and we were to have good views of it scurrying about on a small mud bank. I had a couple of views through the blokes scope and what a beauty it was, the head markings were stunning, the back and cap were a darkish olive and clean white on the belly, the black tail and wings made it look long and sleek when it gave us a side profile. It then decided that the wind was a bit too keen for it and so it hid up behind a clump of what looked like dock leaves and here it stayed for most of the time.

A few people came and went and it would on occasions scurry out from behind the weed clump only for it to turn around and hide back up again, even when a family group of Greylags came close by it still did not move until one of the adult geese was literally standing on it and then it only airlifted for a second and dropped back to its same hide up. When it did eventually move out after some hours of intermittent views it took flight a short distance giving everyone in the hide views of the dark wings, it was still distant for photographing but I was more than happy with a few record shots and good views of a new species for me, and after no images from the last two new and rare additions I was not gonna complain. It was time to head home.

May 2009.

Some images of a pair of Yellow wagtails that are frequenting one of the dumps. They both would approach close with no sign of nervousness, the vibrancy of the male is stunning.
And compared to some females this one is a lot paler and more so greyer too, with substantial white on the breast.

May Moths.

Lunar Marbled Brown
With a decent spell of weather there were a lot of different species starting to get on the wing, both at work and at home. And the biggest surprise was when I went into my shed, I heard a buzzing noise which I thought was some insect trapped. But then I looked up and in the container that I had used 2 years previous for the rearing of Lime Hawkmoths, was 4 recently emerged Lime Hawkmoths. With new eggs in the tub as well it looked like I would be rearing some more, to think that the pupae had skipped a year and then hatched was unbelievable.

Green Carpet

Red Twin Spot Carpet

Flame Shoulder


Lunar Marbled Brown

White Ermine

Saturday 2nd May 2009.

Crested Lark
Dungeness, Kent.
My Dad and I set off early to get to Dungeness at first light. The target was a Crested Lark, a new species for both of us, and although very elusive and mobile we were to get many flight views of this rarity. Unfortunately no images were to be had but I was happy with this great addition.
On the way home we also stopped off at Waltham Abbey to try and connect with the Savi's Warbler that was present there. Although hidden very well and fleeting glimpses of what was probably the Savi's, there was no mistaking it when it began calling, and we were both to hear it very well. Although it was a strain when you get some numpties talking whilst your trying to listen for it! The singing was similar to the Grasshopper warbler but a lot more lower in tone, unfortunately we had to leave as I was on night shift that evening but a great end to the day and a long while since obtaining 2 new species on the same day too.

Dungeness, Kent.

April 2009.

Mothing was still fairly quiet, but these too were enough to make up for it.
Lime Hawkmoth(above) Iron Prominent(below).

There were still a few bright Yellow wagtails frequenting the local dump.

Diddington Pit. Cambridgeshire. April 2009.

I made a visit here early morning to try and connect with the Whiskered tern that had been frequenting here. On arrival virtually all the terns were feeding further over the pits where there was no access. By lunchtime though they had all congregated over the main pit feeding, along with a few birders we did not see it there. And so I left a short while later and sure enough later on whilst reading the local reports it came through as being seen there before I arrived that morning and after I had left..... "Sod's Law".