Monday, August 27, 2012

Aklborough Flats......

Looking towards Whitton Sand and Yorkshire in the distance.

Nice 'Big' skies when i arrived.

Orb Spider - Araneus diadematus.

Male Common-blue Butterfly.

Male Common Darter.
A change of scenery and my first proper day out birding for a while,saw me heading for this superb area.I had really come to visit with migrating waders in mind and a few species were seen which included at least 8 Greenshank 'Tew tewing' around the reserve,2 Green and a couple of Common Sand and a fairly large flock of a couple of hundred Black-tailed Godwit.Also present was a nice flock of Avocet,which made for a superb sight as they flew when disturbed by a passing raptor and masses of Teal around the reserve with smaller numbers of Shoveler and Mallard.Raptors put on a great show,with the best being a cracking juv. male Peregrine,which mobbed a Common Buzzard at close range to were i was stood on the hillside overlooking the reserve.He later switched his attentions to a flock of Carrion Crow in a dead tree,knocking one off its perch,superb to watch!.2 'Special' birds were seen today,i say special,but they are expected nowadays at this time of year,a couple of Spoonbill.They were feeding when i first saw them in the morning from the hillside,but later they were doing what Spoonbills do best,sleeping.It's only just across the way,were i saw my first Spoonbill at Blacktoft Sands RSPB,back in 1988.Also from the 'Heron' family was a Bittern,seen on 3 occasions in flight,an unexpected bonus.A few insects were seen today around the reserve and Odonata seen,included male Emperor Dragonfly,Migrant Hawker,Ruddy and Common Darter and Common-blue Damselfly,with a few butterflies seen including male Common-blue,Speckled Wood,Green-veined White,Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.An interesting sighting was a number of shrimps/Prawns watched in one of the tidal dykes and after a bit of searching at home in one of my books,they were identified as Paleomonetes varians,a species which occurs in Esturine habitats and brackish water,sometimes with very low salinity,so would make sense why they are surviving here so well.The only mammal of note was a single Brown Hare and evidence of plenty of Badger activity around the reserve also.A good day with a change of scenery,soon it will be back to the carrs for raptors and owls again.

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