Monday, August 18, 2008

Life's A Beach

I have been pretty much glued to the Olympics for the last week or so. As a result, the only decent birds I've seen have all been playing beach volleyball.

I have spotted the odd thing from the window at work, however. This week a few Cormorants put in an appearance, probably commuting between Bittell Reservoir and Earlswood Lakes, or something like that.

I've also had a few forays around the grounds during my breaks. I'm lucky enough to work in a building surrounded by water, woodland and fields. In fact the place has just gone up for sale. If I had a spare hundred million, I might even be tempted to put in an offer!

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a Raven flying over, which went on to mob a Buzzard that had settled on the roof of one of the buildings. It shows that if you keep your eyes peeled you can see some good birds right on your doorstep.

Only yesterday, a flock of four birds caught my eye flying past our house. I immediately thought they were gulls, but their tight formation made me wonder if they were perhaps Curlews, but I couldn't really be certain as literally seconds later they were gone. I think a Green Woodpecker flew over the house yesterday morning too.

This splendid beast turned up in our garden yesterday afternoon. I was a bit puzzled as to its identification, but after consulting Kay for her opinion, we think it is a female Common Hawker [update: it is in fact a Southern Hawker - thanks Andy]. It perched on my fir tree long enough for me to grab the scope and camera - my first snap of a dragonfly. Hopefully more will follow.

Southern Hawker

A stroll around the lanes yesterday was pretty bird light, but I picked out a few Stock Doves amongst larger numbers of Woodpigeon and Feral Pigeon in the fields adjacent to the A435. On the butterfly front, I successfully identified Speckled Wood, Hedge Brown, Meadow Brown, Large White and Peacock. Better still, earlier in the day I noticed my first ever Small Copper on our front lawn. This butterflying is addictive!

Right, time to get back that beach volleyball ...


Andy said...

It's a female Southern Hawker, Reg.

Kay said...

So you were right with your first thought. You shouldn't have listened to me, I'm a dragonfly dude!