Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Garganey and Swallowtail caterpillars: must be Strumpshaw Fen!

Another great little session with Brian and Kevin at the Fen this morning. First stop was Fen Hide which was largely unproductive for half an hour, before I managed a couple of photos of an adult Water Rail. They are almost always to be heard squealing away in the long reeds, but not seen that often in the Summer.

Brian and I moved round to Tower Hide where Adrian and new regular Paul were already ensconced. Right in front of the hide was a Garganey, which obligingly woke up for photos. A careful search revealed three more, including a couple of well-marked eclipse drakes. A solitary Ruff flew around before landing on the spit: frustrating that there are over a hundred waders of several species just a mile away at Buckenham...

The walk back via Lackford Run revealed that there are still plenty of Scarce Chasers around, but little else, until we reached the Boardwalk. Here we quickly discovered seven Swallowtail caterpillars in various stages of development, but didn't manage to find any Willow Emeralds.

Last enjoyable moment was watching the antics of the Sparrowhawk family to the left of Reception: such neat little accipiters.

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