Wednesday 30 May 2012

Berrington Pool - Damsels galore

My first visit to this favourite spot with hopes of a Downy Emerald coming to nothing! There were plenty of Damselflies however.....

These have been on the wing the longest - Large Red Damselfly.....

Good numbers of Variable Damselfly, certainly a speciality of this general area!

As you can see, with this one seen from two angles, they are certainly variable and don't always have broken antehumeral stripes!

Common by name but Common Blue Damselfly running in second place to Variables on the day!

I think this pair are trying to tell the world - love is in the air? (Lust more likely!)

Note the size difference relative to this pair of Red-eyed Damselfly in tandem on the lily pad....

Here's the Red eyes a little closer....

phew, I didn't fall in!

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Atcham - Clubtail emergence

 I thought I might have missed Clubtail emergence for the Severn but a brief afternoon check the previous day revealed one or two emerging but well out of camera range! A return this morning with Rob Stokes turned into a real success story with a series of emerging Common Clubtails.....

This was the first, looks like a female with bolder yellow stripes on the top of the abdomen - it was soon gone - over the fields / road!

Our second encounter was much more obliging. The bulging shape of the lower abdominal segments and narrower upper stripes suggests a male (most markings of the male will mature to green in time)

A close up, the huge eyes are separated in this species!

There were dozens of Banded Demoiselle on the wing too, here's a male.....

A female Banded Demoiselle.....

Always nice to catch one on an exposed perch to improve the background!

It's nearly June then and these insects announce the fact that Jim will be spending a bit more time on riverbanks, bogs and ditches for the next two months :-)

Wednesday 23 May 2012

New England - nearing the end

Apologies I haven't kept the images going but they will appear..... eventually........ The trip has been a fantastic combination of plant activities with a few days, moments grabbed here and there for birding! The trip list stands at 132 species and worthwhile images to follow..... Today was a travel day from New Hampshire to Massachusetts and a days birding is planned for tomorrow!

Thursday 17 May 2012

Franklin - Garden means Birds

My new hosts Maryanne and John Gryboski lived just outside Franklin in a delightful location. With feeders close to where we were sat on the porch decking, beer in hand, it was only a matter of time before I asked.? Do you mind if I........

The camera was soon in action capturing the local garden birds and after the distant woodland views, the bird I was most anxious to capture was Rose-breasted Grosbeak!

The male is an absolute stunner (as you can see!)

Very confiding to with the feeders 10m or so away :-)

The launch pad...

Nothing out of the ordinary but a few other garden subjects turned up.

Like this male American Goldfinch

Blue Jay keeping an eye on proceedings and only occasionally coming to the feeders!

A pair of Eastern Bluebird were resident and here's the male

White-breasted Nuthatch.....

And Tufted Titmouse - so cute!

Red-bellied Woodpecker were also in and out, displaying their acrobatic poise!

Lovely birds, awesome Supper, I think I'm going to like it here!

Hammonasset - Again!

It was only a short detour from my journey to Franklin CT and with blue skies above, another short session at this excellent reserve beckoned...... The last bird I saw here was a very distant Little Blue Heron - it or another one was much closer today!

And the best views to date of Least Tern, hovering over the small pools.....

Plus a flyover Osprey!

Not a bad little diversion and an hour or so well spent!

Garden Birds - Branford farewell

The garden of Nick Nikou and Carol Handy, my hosts for three nights was simply amazing (destined for the 'alpine blog' eventually!) I spent a couple of hours saying farewell to the many garden birds encouraged by numerous feeders....

Not exactly a bird to encourage but Common Grackles never say 'no' to a free handout!

And neither do Red-winged Blackbirds - a brightly coloured male.

This syrup feeder is intended for the Hummingbirds, all I got was a Gray Catbird!

White-bellied Nuthatch - in and out in a flash....

One seed at a time....

Or two!

The most showy visitor was this red-bellied Woodpecker!

Nice to get a close up of this beautiful bird :-)

And I continue to fail in my mission for the Ruby-throated hummer - flashing his ruby throat that is!

Ah well, there will be more gardens.....

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Hammonasset - waders galore

Hammonasset is a popular reserve and beach area in Southern Connecticut, it was also a very foggy place this particular morning! By lunchtime, the mist was lifting however and I could begin to consider getting the kit out for the good numbers of birds present, particular - waders!!

What I didn't realise, was that there was quite a twitch going on for a real States rarity - Ruff!!

I was more interested in the birds being ignored by the locals, like this Spotted Sandpiper....

And Willet......

This one quite adept at catching crabs!

Semipalmated Sandpiper......

Semipalmated Plover.....

 Lesser Yellowlegs......

Greater Yellowlegs......

And if you're not convinced of the difference in stature, the moment they were both in the frame!

Willet get everywhere!

And finally, heard before seen, a brief view of Willow Flycatcher

Plus distant views of Little Blue Heron

Could do with a closer view of this one!