Friday, 14 July 2017
I did record a bit of bird activity last Sunday on the Wildspace. A Little Ringed Plover took flight from the settling beds and called voraciously over the river and onto the Potters site - it would be great to see some juveniles in a few weeks time. An adult Garden Warbler was also a real surprise beneath the big Oak tree in the middle of the Wildspace. I was on the lookout for Black-tailed Skimmers to add to the Big Year list and there was plenty of Odonata on the wing. Ruddy Darter and Brown Hawker were evident around the first nettle bed along the riverside. An Emperor hawked high above the in the canopy and following this it had an altercation with a Damselfly hanging high above on a bare branch. Once it returned to it's lookout it looked like a Willow Emerald and taking a photo was able to crop in to see the spur on the thorax that confirmed it's identity, the first of the year for this recent arrival, first recorded for the county at Roswell Pits. Around the corner I took a rough path through the scrub and onto the edge of the partial lagoon in the bend of the river. Watching the damselflies here I thought they looked to have upward bending bodies and they appeared small but when I looked at the photos I had taken they didn't seem to have the X shape on the last segment that would have confirmed Small Red=eyed Damselfly. However when I returned home and looked at the pictures a couple did show the distinctive marks, a new damselfly for the Wildspace.
From Cuckoo Bridge a Kingfisher patiently eyed the waters below and caught several fish before taking on back to some very vocal young hunger calling from the nearby willows.
Along the river bank I found a Black-tailed Skimmer resting on the bare earth, exactly as it should have been. Further around an Emerald Damselfly along a stagnant ditch was my first of the year and on a small pond in Springhead Meadow a femal Broad Bodied Chaser was ovipositing, in constant movement and a Four-spotted Chaser looked on from a reed. Purple Hairstreaks were evident on each of the Oak trees I checked, great to see these in numbers. A great little spell out in the Wildspace.