Sunday, 1 August 2010

A Blithfield clear-out and some exploring

Saturday 31st July.

Over the last week or so all sorts of decent birds had turned up at Blithfield, such as Garganey, Curlew Sand, Little Stint, Knot, Sanderling. So of course, by the time I got there they've all done a bunk.

But in the end it wasn't all bad. A Turnstone stayed all too briefly in Tad Bay. 3 Little Egrets in Blithe Bay was a disappointing show when it looks so good at the moment. One last check of Tad was worth doing though, as there were now two Med Gulls. One of them a juvenile, quite close to the hide.

Also a first-summer, which was ringed but too far away to read the plastic ring on it's right leg.

As for Uttoxeter Quarry in the evening, 3 Little Egrets flew west, 5 Common Sands and 3 Curlew were about as good as it got.

Sunday 1st August.

To begin with, one adult Yellow-legged Gull at Croxden Quarry.

I was soon getting the feeling that today's weather was not conducive to bring anything new, wader wise, so I've done some exploring today. The first site I tried was Thorswood nature reserve.

Only a stone's throw away from the Weaver Hills, and more rough ground here with Gorse, Hawthorn and Bracken. Plus a small plantation of mainly Beech trees. Certainly the kind of place where you could imagine finding an autumn Whinchat.

Next was Brown End Quarry in Waterhouses.

Not really a birding site but worth a visit if you're into geology and botany. Lots of wild flowers also leads to lots of insects. There were absolutely stacks of Gatekeepers.

There was also this one. Which I think may be a Brown Argus, but it might just be a female Common Blue, I dunno.

Finishing off at Swineholes Wood.

I like the look of this place for some autumn migrants, a mixture of heath and rather stunted woodland.

So, time permitting, I do think I'll be returning to both Swineholes Wood and Thorswood during the autumn, combined with the Weavers. Bring on the Shrikes and Yellow-Browed Warblers!


Bryan Rains said...

Looks like female Common Blue to me.

Richard Powell said...

Thanks Bryan. I'm no Butterfly expert, I wasn't sure.

Martyn Yapp said...

That must be the BIG juvenile Med Gull, that I have not yet seen, according to GJM it keeps coming and going......