Friday, 2 August 2013

Pectoral Sandpiper but mostly Butterflies

It looked like a Pectoral Sandpiper through the telescope, all the experts in the hide said it was a Pectoral Sandpiper, ergo, it probably was a Pectoral Sandpiper. So why am I unhappy. The answer - because I could not get a good picture, that convinced me 100% when I got home, that I had the identification right.

Pectoral Sandpiper - Pulborough Brooks

Pectoral Sandpiper

Both shots have huge crops and over sharpening and are at the limits of the cameras capabilities. They are also very similar to those that I managed to capture the last time I saw a  Pectoral Sandpiper. Looking at Collins I have; slightly de-curved bill, good demarcation between breast and belly with breast markings coming to a point, one side of white V on its back, neat scaly pattern on upper part feathers. I also have a pale based bill on another equally obscure shot.

I guess the confidence levels are better than 95% so I will probably count it.

Water levels were low around the reserve. Birds are starting to return but they need more rain and plenty of mud.

After seeing a report last week of Emerald Damselflies, Black Darters and Brown Hawkers on Black Pond I decided to have a look. What a difference a week makes. None of them there that I could see, but there were Emperors, Broad-bodied Chasers and Ruddy Darters present.

Broad-bodied Chaser

Ruddy Darter

The pond was drying up, but there were still four Emperors managing to patrol what looked like very small territories and without too much conflict. Even with it being easier to predict where they would be flying I still failed to get a decent picture of any of them and they seemed reluctant to move away from the pond to settle.

There were plenty of butterflies around Pulborough but I wanted to check out Houghton Forest and I thought it might be a bit cooler under the trees. I was also hoping to see a Purple Emperor which had been reported there.

Houghton did not disappoint, except for the Purple Emperor, with Small, Large, and Green-veined Whites, Silver Washed Fritillary, Comma, Peacock, Red Admirals, Brimstones and various Blues. I was feeling quite pleased and was even more so when I got home and found both Peacocks and a Painted Lady on the Lavender in the garden.


Large White

Silver-washed Fritillary

Silver-washed Fritillary

Common Blue on Birds-foot Trefoil


Painted Lady

Painted Lady



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