Friday, 17 May 2013

Warbles and butterflies at Noddle Hill

I went to Noddle Hill for a walk this morning. It was a long time I hadn't visited this reserve, and the weather was quite pleasant, turning warm when the sun shone in the middle of the day. The diversity of habitats in the reserve: wooded areas, scrub, lake with reeds, ditches, and many well vegetated ponds translates into a diversity of birds. Today it was warbler day: Whitethroat, Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Reed, Sedge Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat were all singing. I thought I heard Garden Warbler too, but was unable to see it, and I am not very familiar with its song to rely only on that, so it didn't count. I spent quite some time trying to see the Lesser Whitethroat, but it defeated me. It was singing within a large scrubby patch of Hawthorn, Nettles and Brambles, almost impossible to enter without a machete!
 By the lake, I watched the Reed Warblers singing. The reeds are quite low for this time of year and don't offer as much shelter so it was relatively easy to spot them, but hard to focus with the camera for any pictures.
A number of active butterflies were on the wing:
Peacock, Holy Blue, Speckled Wood, Green-veined white, Orange tip, Large White and Brimstone.
St Mark's flies (Bibio marci) were everywhere, and a group of Swifts flew quite low over the vegetation, presumably feasting on them.
I also saw a damselfly, pale brown, but it settled too high in a tree and at an odd angle for ID.
 The council has installed a composting toilet at the entrance of the reserve. It would be good to see some action regarding the clumps of japanese knotweed.
Cows and Magpie
Collared dove
Hovering kestrel
My best shot of a Swift  
Speckled Wood
Greylag family
Holly blue
Mating St Mark's flies
Orange Tip
Reed Bunting singing its 'cheese-on-toast'
Green Veined White. A female was seen laying eggs.

 Bird list

  1. Blackbird        
  2. Blackcap        
  3. Bullfinch        
  4. Carrion Crow        
  5. Chaffinch        
  6. Chiffchaff        
  7. Collared Dove        
  8. Coot        
  9. Dunnock        
  10. Feral Pigeon        
  11. Goldfinch        
  12. Greenfinch        
  13. Greylag Goose        
  14. House Martin        
  15. Jackdaw        
  16. Kestrel        
  17. Lesser Black-backed Gull        
  18. Lesser Whitethroat        
  19. Linnet        
  20. Magpie        
  21. Mallard        
  22. Moorhen        
  23. Pheasant        
  24. Reed Bunting        
  25. Reed Warbler        
  26. Robin        
  27. Sedge Warbler        
  28. Skylark        
  29. Song Thrush        
  30. Swallow        
  31. Swift        
  32. Tufted duck
  33. Whitethroat        
  34. Willow Warbler        
  35. Woodpigeon        
  36. Wren     

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