Friday, 9 September 2016

Red-backed Shrike at Winterton

With Norman and Brian hors de combat and Martin having, apparently, been abducted by aliens, I decided to have a solo bash at the reported Red-backed Shrike at Winterton. I arrived at Horsey Gap early enough to avoid parking fees and walked southwards. Quite quickly I realised there'd been some migration: Whinchats were everywhere! Without looking too hard I counted thirty by the time I returned to the van.

Other birds included scores of Stonechats and Linnets, two Marsh Harriers and a ringtail in off the sea, while several different 'flavours' of Wheatear were on offer.

The Shrike was very elusive, but after a few brief glimpses of this, my second juvenile RBS of the Autumn, it took pity on me and hopped up onto a small oak for a couple of seconds! While I was photographing it a Common Hawker tazzed around the bush: yet again I failed to get an image!

Surprisingly, the 'Kidney Pool' held not just water, but a few Emerald Damselflies: these two had no obvious pterostigmata, and I wondered whether they might be Southern Emeralds....

Lots of Butterflies, including Grayling, Small Copper, Painted Lady and Small Heath.



James Emerson said...

Hi David. I don't think your damselflies are Southern Emerald. I saw a couple at Winterton a few years back and they have bi-coloured pterostigma (half black, half white) which were quite noticeable. Also yours have a pale blue lower half to the lower part of the thorax - this is a feature of either Common or Scarce Emeralds males, which start of with lots of blue 'pruinescence', which wears off over time.

David said...

Hi James!
I've seen plenty of all three 'unusual' Emeralds: Willow, Southern & Scarce, and, yes, I know what the ptero's should look like: but a Common Emerald usually has really dark ptero's: these two don't seem to have any at all, hence my interest...