Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Turtle Dove

It has been a bit of a mixed bag so far this week. Tuesday I was out looking for Turtle Doves on the Knepp Estate. There had been a number of reports of them posted but after four hours of searching I hadn't even managed to hear one purring. There were Cuckoos calling all over the place but they were very difficult to see. At least the Storks were showing well. I assume these two were from the re-introduction scheme. They looked like Red DC and Grey CU. Odd though that they had the rings on opposite legs.

With nothing much else showing, I went over to Woods Mills to look for a Turtle Dove there. The result was exactly the same

White Storks probably from the Knepp re-introduction sceme

Wednesday morning, this time with Dave as my good luck charm, we tried Woods Mills again and one of the first birds we saw was a Turtle Dove.

Then off to find our next target, West Sussex Wall Brown butterflies. A quick trek up onto the downs and we had eight to ten of the butterflies in our sights. Great butterflies to see but very territorial and aggressive and thus difficult to photograph as they are always on the move.

Wall Brown

Wall Brown

We also managed to find a single Small Blue at Kithurst Meadow but in the scramble to get a picture it did a disappearing act and we could not relocate it. I am always surprised at just how small they actually are. Later on we had our first Small Copper at Whiteways.

Small Copper

Green-veined Whites

Green-veined White mud puddling


And the dragonfly season is also under way with the best seen so far, an early Brown Hawker at Rowlands Wood. I see them there most years but as ever it failed to put down anywhere for a picture.

Broad-bodied Chaser

Azure Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

So a good day Tuesday. Wednesday we were out early looking for more of the same. This time at  Old Lodge with targets of Woodlark, Tree Pipit and Redstart. Unfortunately the weather did not live up to expectations, being cold and windy, and we only managed the Woodlark.


 Compensation was in the form of a Garden Warbler that Dave found belting out its song from halfway up a Pine tree in Rowlands Wood. My first of the year.

Garden Warbler

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