Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Twitching Longham & visit to Middlebere

Jackie and I had a quick twitching visit to Longham Lakes for a Juvenile Black Tern in late August and had good views but when we returned with the group a couple days later it had left.  Though we still saw a good number of birds on the water and in the hedgerows around the lakes.  The highlights for most were watching Yellow Wagtails dodging around the feet of the cattle as they fed on the various diptera and Pauline picked up a high gliding Hobby that carried on south obviously starting its migration.

Juvenile Black Tern - Longham Lakes © Nick Hull
Juvenile Black Tern - Longham Lakes © Nick Hull
Though our walks are primarily for birds we never walk past anything that might catch our eyes and one of such things was a beautiful Hoverfly which was found sun bathing. So a quick photo shoot and  I id'ed it later as Myathropa florea a wasp mimic.  
Hoverfly - Myathropa florea © Nick Hull
We had almost completed our walk when Jackie called "Swift"and hawking above us with the Swallows and martins was a single Swift we took great care, as it was a late individual, that it wasn't something more rare but alas it wasn't but nice to see none-the-less.
Sand Martin over Longham Lakes © Nick Hull
Our Two Owls walk at Middlebere on the 5th September was successful in that we saw all the usual common species one would expect and added a handful of migrants.  Our highlights here were again Yellow Wagtails, which Chris saw first flitting around the cattle out in the bog on Hartland Moor as we were looking for Marsh Gentian.
Marsh Gentian - Hartland Moor © Nick Hull
As we walked down to the hide along the track we had a brief view of a female Bullfinch crossing the track and then heard more Yellow Wagtail calls, we all looked up and a group of 28 flew over heading south.  We also had a splattering of Meadow Pipits, a real sign that autumn is here when the pipits are starting to move. A family group of Mistle Thrush were in the Rowan a species that aren't common in the harbour area but one that likes Sika copse at Middlebere.  From the NT hide we were able to get distant views of a young Osprey sat in one of the favoured dead trees, tucking into a fish, unfortunately too far away to get a photograph.

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