Posts Tagged ‘Banded Demoiselle’

Titchwell Marsh

Titchwell Marsh

Thursday saw us heading for the coast again, this time to the RSPB reserve at Titchwell marsh. But the journey along the coast road had its excitement too. As we passed the village of Morston, a small falcon flew across the road right in front of the car. It was so close that I could clearly see the facial markings, belly streaking and red thigh feathers that marked it out as a Hobby. Then a few miles further on I saw a hawk flying over the road. Thinking it was a Buzzard, I was most surprised to see the clearly white body and under-wing – an Osprey! Most unexpected for Norfolk at this time of year. I later learnt that there had been a bird seen near the Yorkshire coast the day before and so maybe this was the same bird already making it’s way back south. Maybe it was a young bird that had failed to find a partner or breed and had decided to begin it’s migration early.

Titchwell Marsh

Titchwell Marsh

After all this excitement we eventually arrived at Titchwell and proceeded to the first hide on the Freshwater Marsh. As there had been on other sites this week there were a number of Ruff still showing the remnants of their summer plumage. As we approached the hide our path was blocked by a family of Greylag geese who clearly felt they had the right of way.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

After they had passed we also found a clutch of Mallard chicks sheltering in the reeds

Mallard

Mallard

From the hide we could see a good selection of wading birds including Pied Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Spotted Redshank. A sleeping Garganey dozed on the mud bank. But the best sighting was of two young Beeded Reedlings feeding out on the open mud. This secrative reed dwelling species is rarely seen so this was a unique and exciting sight as they fed out in the open for 10 or 15 minutes picking insects from the surface of the mud.

Bearded Reedlings

Bearded Reedlings

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

An unexpected sighting was a single Brent goose. This is normally a winter visitor to the UK and so a species you normally would not expect to see in July. Also a small flock of Red Crested Pochard, a duck not native to the UK but which have escaped from bird collections. It’s status is difficult to evaluate as the problem of captive escapes means that all records of potential wild visitors from eastern and southern Europe to these shores is put in doubt.

Other sightings including a Red Admiral butterfly and banded Demoiselles again in the cottage garden again (this time 3 females)

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Banded Demoiselle (f)

Banded Demoiselle (f)

I think I should start a list of bird that have harassed me at cafe tables. It would include the usual suspects House Sparrow; Chaffinch etc as well as Robin and Moorhen. But at Titchwell we added a new species in the shape of a very attentive Song Thrush which happily hopped around our feet taking our crumbs between posing for photos

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Garganey (Anas querquedula)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Osprey [sp] (Pandion haliaetus)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
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)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

The morning started well with a Banded Demoiselle and a gatekeeper butterfly in the garden of our cottage.

Banded Demoiselle (m)

Banded Demoiselle (m)

Today our destination was the reserve at Hickling Broad. The broads are shallow bodies of water which were the result of flooding of roman sand extractions and medieval extracion of clay and peat. These shallow lakes were joined toether by a number of man-made canals to create a sysytem of waterways.

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In the morning we walk around the reserve and had some good sightings of butterflies including Painted Lady.

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

The speciality of the reserve is the Swallowtail butterfly and one is distantly seen in flight.

Swallowtail and Friend

Swallowtail

Photo by Rodney Campbell (https://www.flickr.com/photos/acrylicartist/)

The other highlight were the dragonflies with a number of species seen including the local speciality Norfolk Hawker.

Blue Tailed Damselfly (f) -red form

Blue Tailed Damselfly (f) -red form

Black-tailed Skimmer

Black-tailed Skimmer

 

In the afternoon we see the reserve fom a boat as we travel through the reeds to two hides which can only be reached by boat.

There is a good selection of wading birds and ducks at the first including Greenshank; BlackTailed Godwit; Avocet and Lapwing. 3 species of geese were also present: Greylag, Canada and Eygptian.

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

At the second hide there were many fewer birds. but we did find a single Wood Sandpipers.

Whilst we were traveling through the reed beds we had two close sightings of 2 Swallowtail butterflies and a Kingfisher.

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Norfolk Hawker (Anaciaeschan isosceles)
Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Next stop on catch up Thursday is Sutcliffe Park LNR.

Sutcliffe park LNR

Sutcliffe park LNR

Again Meadow Brown butterflies are the dominant species on the grasslands, but around the reed-bed I find a Broad-bodied Chaser, a black-Tailed Skimmer, 2 male Banded Demoiselles and a Common Blue Damselfy. A good variety of species but I would have hoped for a few more of each.

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An added bonus is a party of 6 Common Swifts and at least 1 Emperor Dragonfly hawking for insects over the lake.

The Banded Demoiselle is one of only 2 damselfly species with coloured wings in the UK. It is a common species found in England and Wales and is mostly found along slow-running streams and rivers in lowland areas. The males are territorial but in good habitat large groups can be found in a single location.

Typical Habitat

Typical Habitat

Male

Male

Female

Female

Male

Male

Male

Male

Female

Female

Male

Male

Yeaterday I went on a walk organised by the London Natural History Society along the River Crane starting from Whitton and finishing at Crane Island Local Nature Reserve.

River Crane

River Crane

River Crane

River Crane

The focus of the walk was insects although all aspects of natural history were noted.

Among the highlights of the day were a good number of Banded Demoiselle, which was the most numerous of 4 species of damselfly seen

Male Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle

Female Banded Demiselle

Female Banded Demiselle

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly


A first sighting for me was the Tree Bumblebee which was found in good numbers along the river

Tree Bumblebee

Tree Bumblebee

Among other insects were spiders, beetles, flies and ladybirds

Harlequin Ladybirds

Harlequin Ladybirds

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There were also some interesting birds including this sighting of a young Nuthatch examining the outside world.

Young Nuthatch

Young Nuthatch

Thanks to Ian who lead the walk and to the other members for their help with indentification of beetles, spiders and other insects. A very good day.

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)