Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Insect news


There aren't many birds to be had at The Lodge at the moment, so here's a male Banded Demoiselle, photographed on Jack's Pond at lunchtime.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Bird news

Friday, 15th June
  • One spotted flycatcher still singing in the big pine at the south end of avocet today and another showing nicely (and also singing) in birches south-west of the hide at lunch today, with three emperors still around the pond (Mark Ward and Lucinda King)
  • Two spotted flycatchers still very vocal around the lawn this morning (Mark Ward)
Thursday, 14th June
  • 4 emperor dragonflies (2 males, 2 females) still showing nicely at the swimming pool at lunchtime. Also spotted flycatcher calling in trees by the memorial garden. (Mark Ward)
  • Spotted flycatcher audible through my open window this morning. Followed up with a sighting of the bird in a pine at the south end of avocet with another calling further east down the garden.
  • I've now seen and/or heard spotted flycatchers on territory at four different locations at The Lodge this year - so 4 potential pairs (minimum), as each involved singing birds.
  • Also juvenile great tit on the webcam feeder today - our first of the year - and red admiral outside. (Mark Ward)
Wednesday, 13th June
  • Spotted Flycatcher in woods east of garden; large red & azure damsels on bog-bean pool (Nigel Willits)
  • Buzzard in playful, lighthearted display outside my window. (Mark Ward)
Tuesday, 12th June
  • Meadow Brown behind yew-tree car-park; male & ovipositing female Emperor Dragon on fish pond, plus 4-spot Chasers, Red-eyed & Common Blue damsels (Nigel Willits)
  • 4 emperor dragonflies at the swimming pool and a brood of very recently fledged blackcaps (they could barely fly) on the edge of Biggleswade Common during an unsuccessful clearwing luring session. (Mark Ward)
Monday, 11th June
  • Spotted flycatcher south of the hide at lunchtime today. (Mark Ward)
  • Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow & Garden Warblers between reserve & Biggleswade Common. (Nigel Willits)
  • Freshly-emerged black-tailed skimmer outside the canteen and 2 male large red damsels (plus single painted lady and red admiral nearby) on the small ponds at the back of and west of the house.
  • A pair of starlings are regulars on the web team feeder again at present. (Mark Ward)
Friday, 8th June
  • 1 or 2 Painted Ladies on the slope above Jack's Pond mid-afternoon; single male Emperors patrolling both fish pond & plantation pond, also several 4-spot Chasers, Common Blue & Red-eyed Damsels. Green Tiger beetles actively hunting on the heath. (Nigel Willits)

Friday, 8 June 2007

Bird news

Friday, 8th June
  • Just had a turtle dove purring first and then seen on the ground on the heath side of the boundary wall, west of Jacks pond (Ian Hayward)
  • White-legged Damselfly in main border at lunchtime, posing very co-operatively for his photo (IKD, DFD)
  • Grey wagtail around the swimming pool - slightly unexpected date? (Rob Hume)
Thursday, 7th June
  • Buzzard from my window (they're keeping a very low profile at present so first sighting for a while) and a pair of starlings on the web team feeder occasionally this week. (Mark Ward)
Tuesday, 5th June
  • A painted lady by the old railway line at lunchtime today was my first in the UK this year. A garden warbler singing, tail-wagging and wing-shivering in full view nearby (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Some smooth newts have returned to the hide pond - no doubt feasting on Natterjack tadpoles. Also at least 3 male Black-tailed Skimmers, one in aerial copulation with a female. In the gardens, a male Emperor dragonfly & several 4-spots, plus Large Red, Red-eyed, Azure & Common Blue Damsels. (Nigel Willits)
Monday, 4th June
  • Barn owl hunting along the eastern edge of Biggleswade Common at 13:00 today was the highlight of my lunchtime stroll (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Crossbill(s) heard over back lawn @1250 (Chris Bowden)
  • A cuckoo was babbling over the heath in the morning while I counted the sheep, with a great spotted woodpecker drumming nearby (Katie Fuller)
Friday, 1st June
  • Hobby over avocet carpark at 5:15 this evening (Darren Oakley-Martin/ Katie Fuller/ Andy Hay)
Thursday, 31st May
  • Hobby and buzzard twice over House garden 31st May, and more belatedly a pair of mandarin ducks on the fishpond one evening last week (Mike Clarke)

Friday, 1 June 2007

Bird news

Friday, 1st June
  • Male emperor patrolling the swimming pool at lunchtime today. Also 3 four-spotted chasers, 3 large red damsels (one pair in tandem) and several red-eyed damsels (Mark Ward and Lucinda King)
  • A family of four stoats set off across the meadow at the bottom of the reserve on a hunting party. They ran along the fence line and three green woodpeckers sitting on consecutive fenceposts watched their progress. Curiosity got the better of one bird and it landed on the ground to get a better look. One of the stoats ran up to it, whereupon it lifted off. A couple of minutes later, after chasing a rabbit in vain, one of the stoats ran back towards us, through the brambles and raced past only fifteen feet away from us into the reserve. (Sarah & Derek Niemann, joined by runners Martin Harper and Sacha Cleminson)
  • Spotted flycatcher singing strongly from traditional spot in the big limes behind Transport Thursday and Friday. (Mark Ward)
Thursday, 31st May
  • Red Admiral & a couple of Common Blue Damsels on the wing in the garden between showers (Nigel Willits)
Wednesday, 30th May
  • Noisy brood of great spotted woodpeckers calling from nest hole by path below the garden Wednesday lunchtime with a family of treecreepers in the same area. (Mark Ward, Ellen Collier, Katie Fuller, Lucinda King)
  • c.60 swifts east over the plateau between 13:00-13:20. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Single shelduck over the quarry at 10:50. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Spotted Flycatcher in ornamental crab apple outside library @0945 (IKD)