Sunday, 26 June 2011

Insects and Nightjar

With a long weekend off i finally managed to get down to Horsey on Friday to look for the 1st-summer Red-footed Falcon. After picking up mum and dad we headed off, near Hickling we saw what turned out to be the best bird of the day with a female Montagu's Harrier crossing the road and quartering the field. With that been the best bird you would have guessed that the Red-footed Falcon had gone. We took a slow pace down the track as this was the first time mum has walked any distance since her knee replacement, but this gave us time to admire the many butterflies and insects amongst the nearby flowers. 6-spot Burnet Moth were on every thistle, but also Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, a lone Gatekeeper and best of all 4 Dark-green Fritillary by the dunes. Back in North Walsham a short walk on Spa Common gave up a Great Spotted Woodpecker and my first Ringlet butterflies of the year, before we enjoyed a lovely meal a Skyton Goat Inn.

On Saturday Laura and i had a Chinese with Gary and Claire before heading out to see if we could locate Nightjar for Laura. Going to our normal site for around 9pm we expected a longish wait as it was rather light, and a nearby party was pumping out music. The music stopped shortly after we arrived and after only 5/10 minutes a Nightjar started to churr. Then from behind us a second bird flew over our heads and perched up. The bird flew a few circuits around us between perching in a Silver birch. The good light meant we could see all the features of the bird clearly. I counted atleat 4 birds in flight across the site before we left, with it still being light enough to see a late flying Hawker Sp. dragonfly.

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