Thursday 30 July 2015

A quick round-up

Yet again I've left it for a few weeks without a blog update. This becomes more of a round-up then than anything else.
Starting with last Saturday (25th July), I headed over towards RSPB Snettisham where I had distant but tickable views of the Broad-billed Sandpiper. Sadly too distant for shots of any kind but I shouldn't be disappointed because there are probably those who traveled from outside Norfolk to see it and dipped. This is a very rare bird in Ireland (I reckon eleven or twelve records only? But don't quote me), anyway it was a lifer for me so well worth the trip.

On Sunday I had a nice living room tick as I watched a Hobby hunting over the meadows that run along the northern edge of the river Yare as it passes around Whitlingham Broad. A considerable number of Swifts were hunting at the same time so was it possibly predating these??

Work wise , its plant shut-down right now so quieter than the normally hectic days I have. With that I took Wednesday off and with some domestic issues taken care of, I headed up to Holt Country Park in the afternoon for some butterfly fun - before the season finishes. All in all I had a very successful day, with great views of White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary.

Silver-washed Fritillary, Holt CP, Norfolk, 29th July 2015

Silver-washed Fritillary, Holt CP, Norfolk, 29th July 2015

White Admiral, Holt CP, Norfolk, 29th July 2015
A little bit of 'gen' from the helpful lad in the visitor center and I was able to locate the pond where I eventually came across at least one female Silver-washed Fritillary of the valezina form.

Silver-washed Fritillary of the valezina form
Valezina females can be between 5 - 15% of the population in larger colonies within the species main range. A gene that finds expression only in the female controls this form of butterfly (See Butterflies of Britain and Ireland by Thomas and Lewington P.218 for more!).
So with those all that taken care of, a spot of lunch at the car and then off to Cley where I walked the east bank and scanned Arnold's Marsh. Plenty of Sandwich Terns, a few Common Terns mixed in. Also many Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, four Knot and one Ringed Plover.
I scanned the sea for Skuas but got distracted by three Little Gulls patrolling up and down along the edge of the breaking waves - dainty little things! I got a few shots before rain and cold got the better of me (only a t-shirt you see... d'uh!).

Little Gull, Cley - 29th July 2015

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