Sunday 12 July 2015

Wader clear-out

I was down on the patch a couple of times today having only managed one visit during the week, on Thursday. There were 18 black-tailed godwits and a ruff of note on the Budge fields.

Today however there weren't many waders at all, just a few curlew and lapwing. There were lots of butterflies out in the sunshine this morning, but trying to photograph them was very difficult due to the strong westerly wind. 

There were as many dark-green fritillaries as I have ever seen, well into double-figures. This one was in the dunes, a crap photo, but I liked the detail of its eyes.

worn dark-green fritillary on thistle - open for detail
ringlet on yarrow
Also on the wing were lots of ringlets, meadow brown, common blue, small copper, wall, red admiral, speckled wood, small tortoiseshell and small skipper...

There were also lots of burnet moths on the newly-in-flower ragwort. All of the burnets I photographed were narrow-bordered five-spot burnet moths. 

narrow-bordered five-spot burnet moth on ragwort
Whilst photographing butterflies in the dunes, I heard such a commotion - high-pitched squawking followed by people shouting. I looked up to see a springer spaniel, off the lead, scattering a family party of grey partridge left, right and centre. The owners were obviously concerned at the noise the young partridges were making and desperately tried to get the offending dog back. They had absolutely no control over it whatsoever.

The offenders with the dog back on the lead
They turned around when they saw me taking their photo.  I caught up with them later and the springer was still off the lead. I pointed out the error of their ways and signs asking people to keep their dogs on a lead during the breeding season and gave them a leaflet about taking dogs to the coast. Shortly after, two different women appeared with another springer doing exactly the same thing. 

These soldier beetles were clearly enjoying the summer sunshine!

Soldier beetles
This evening I had a look on the sea, the tide was out but the light was nice. The scoter flock has now built up to about 600 birds and they were really close inshore. I went through them a couple of times, but could only see common scoters - July is a good month for surfies! Five juvenile type goosanders flew north.

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