Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Here Comes The Summer - The Undertones

Fresh out of bed, I had to rub my eyes, was that a 'clear blue sky'? A second take and sure enough "there ain't a cloud in sight" (Mr Blue Sky, ELO) but it was quite a different view looking north where the Ridgeway Hills where shrouded in low cloud/fog. A squadron of Canada Geese flew in as I arrived at Radipole having left the cemetery, so often referred to in these pages and shown by the treeline in the background of this image, full of birdsong. However, the warmth of the uninterrupted sun made it more a day for insects than birds as the first sighting fell to this

female Migrant Hawker dragonfly.

There are now good numbers of juvenile Moorhen on the reserve, and next to show was a rather unexpected

Painted Lady butterfly.

Gadwall, this a male, are resident here and with little else to report except for a steady trickle of migrating Swallows, signs of 'erupting' Bearded Tit and singles of Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Song Thrush and Great Spotted Woodpecker it was off to Portland.

First contender for the log here was this magnificent Convolvulus Hawk-moth

which, when held by the Warden, gives a better idea of dimension. The reed beds at Radipole, Lodmoor etc are now all but devoid of Acrocephalus Warblers but there are still a few stragglers passing through the Bill. At Culverwell 3 Reed Warblers were seen by some observers, while later

this Sedge Warbler was plucked from a mist net by visiting 'ringer' Martin.

Those in the know informed me that this tiny bird, about to leave for Africa,

should weigh somewhere in the region of 12 grammes, however this individual had prepared

particularly well clocking in at a massive 17.7 gm. Let's hope it does well en-route!

On the way home this Great Tit kindly posed for a shot, a common species probably taken a little for granted, but given such plumage and cocky personality worth much more than a mere glance!

An 'open' and

'shut' case for this Red Admiral butterfly,

and although Public Enemy Number 1 in the countryside the

Magpie is also worth a second look especially on such a day when the sun glances off its feathers.

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