Posts Tagged ‘4 Spotted Chaser’

A bright sunny morning saw myself and Keith on our way to the Minsmere nature reserve with Gravesend RSPB group.

On arrival, we decided that rather than try and get around the reserve and all its different habitats we would focus our attention on seeing and photographing certain key species.

The first of these was a Marsh Warbler. Although common on the European continent, they are rarely seen in this country and so this one which had appeared at Minsmere that morning was the top target. It was a very obliging bird and although it spent some time playing hide and seek behind bushes, whilst singing loudly to let us know it was there, we eventually got great views.

Marsh Warbler

Our next target was Eurasian Bittern, which breeds at Minsmere. We have been unlucky in our attempts to catch up with this species this year and so it was fantastic to get great views of one crossing a pool right in front of the hide.

Eurasian Bittern

Eurasian Bittern. Photo by Keith

 

 

 

 

 

Our next stop was Island Mere hide and the target bird was a Savi’s Warbler, another rare continental visitor and which had been heard singing in the area for the previous few days. Whilst here we had good views of Bearded Reedling, Marsh Harrier and of 2 more Bitterns. Eventually, after about an hour, some people, including Keith, heard it singing very briefly – unfortunately, I was not one of them. We waited another 30 minutes but it remained silent and we decided to move on.

Eurasian Bittern coming into land. Photo by Keith

We made our way down to the wader scrape and added a number of species including ducks, geese and wading birds, oh and another 2 Bitterns!

Along the paths and amongst the pools we found many Butterflies and Dragonflies.

4 spotted Chaser

Red-eyed damselfly

Cinnabar Moth

Comma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was soon time to return to our coach. An excellent day with a wonderful variety of wildlife and so many sightings of Bittern, but the Marsh Warbler was undoubtedly the bird of the day.

Red-legged Partridge [sp] (Alectoris rufa)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Bittern [sp] (Botaurus stellaris)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Butterflies

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small Copper [sp] (Lycaena phlaeas)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Dragonflies

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)
Norfolk Hawker (Anaciaeschan isosceles)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)
Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

A trip to Thursley NNR in Surrey today with the RSPB group. Thursley has some very good birds including Hobby, Woodlark and Dartford Warbler but it is also the countries best dragonfly site with a list of 26 species (although at least one of these no longer occurs there).

Arriving at the reserve I make a path straight to Moat Pond, a large lake on the site of the heath

DSCN3202a

There are Azure and Red-eyed Damselflies and two Downy Emeralds, one of the specialties of the site. These small hawkers are always in motion and rarely seem to stop or land, making it difficult, or in this case impossible, to get any photos. Knew I should have bought the video camera!

Downy emerald
Downy Emerald
photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Then its out onto the heath. Thursley is one of the largest area of lowland heath in England and so is a unique site for this still disppearing habitat with its specialist species.

DSCN3134a

DSCN3174a

There are plenty of dragonflies to see. The small pools are patrolled by 4-Spotted Chasers and Keeled Skimmers along with a few Black-tailed Skimmers and a couple of Emperor Dragonflies. Common Blue and Large Red Damselflies are also present together with Beautiful and Banded Demoiselle . I also managed to find a Small Red Damselfly, which was pleasing especially as I got to photograph it.

Small Red damselfly

Small Red damselfly

4 Spotted Chaser

4 Spotted Chaser

Keeled Skimmer

Keeled Skimmer

4 Spotted Chaser

4 Spotted Chaser

4 Spotted Chaser

4 Spotted Chaser

An added bonus was Silver Studded Blue Butterfly, another specialty species of lowland heath.

Silver Studded Blue

Silver Studded Blue

Silver Studded Blue

Silver Studded Blue

As a final added bonus found a Common Lizard basking on the boardwalk

DSCN3218a

Not a large bird list, but 13 species of dragonfly and some good pictures plus Silver Studded Blue. A really good day.

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Woodlark [sp] (Lullula arborea)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Tree Pipit [sp] (Anthus trivialis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Silver-studded Blue [sp] (Plebejus argus)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
Large Skipper [sp] (Ochlodes venatus)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)
Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea)
Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens)