It was very warm on Sunday, and we had a few insects in the garden, including Broad-bodied Chaser, Azure Damselfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly at the pond. We also had a Red Admiral (a migrant) in the garden and a few Painted Ladies were passing through, seemingly heading north-west. I figured it would be a good idea to head out to Woodwalton Fen, which is famed for its Scarce Chasers at this time of year.
SO, down there I went, and the place was buzzing with the beauties, seemingly along every ditch, including the Great Raveley Drain where you park. There were also a whole load of Painted Ladies passing through, also heading NW, like the ones at home. It turns out that this movement of migrant PLs was far from local, with probably millions passing through the country on that day.
The Scarce Chasers were very obliging, comprising largely orange-toned sub-mature males and females, but with one or two males gaining pruinescence (powdery blue). I started with some digiscoping, but later moved onto DSLR (see below the Kazakhstan posts).
Pair in tandem. The male (left) is not quite fully mature, with still some orange tones in the veins of the wings. He has clasped the female round the back of her head, and she in turn is grasping the male's abdomen, which causes black patches among the blue in this species. Note she has a bit of black in the wingtips and a hint of pruinescence of her own on the underside of her abdomen (facing up here).
Maturing female (note broader abdomen than male and black wing tips)
Monday, May 25, 2009
Male Bluethroat (digiscoped)
Networking: rescuing a Long-tailed Rosefinch, two Paddyfield Warblers and a Bluethroat for ringing
James Lees with a Paddyfield Warbler (while the local ringer removes another in the background)
Sociable Lapwings on the breeding site (digiscoped)
The Birdlife team looking after the Sociable Lapwings
Our gang try and photograph the distant lapwings shrouded in heat haze...
Andreas Pittl from Swarovski poses for the ladies...
Steppe Eagle and Rook entourage (digiscoped)
A green lizard in a reedbed
Sharon 'The Birdchick' photographing wild tulips
Steppe Merlin (the pale steppe form; digiscoped)
Male Siberian Stonechat (digiscoped)
Our huts on the steppe
Tree Sparrow (digiscoped)
Male Cuckoo (digiscoped)
Booted Warbler (digiscoped)
Posted by Mike Weedon at 6:18 PM
Tree Sparrow (digiscoped)
Home on the steppe at Korgalzhyn
Ringing a Spotted Flycatcher
The camouflaged birder
Male Citrine Wagtail (digiscoped)
Red-necked Phalarope (digiscoped)
Dominic Mitchell snaps a baby lark in-hand
Steppe Marmots (digiscoped)
Marmot DSLR photographers move in...
Orientation at Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve
Feeding time for the Pallas's Gull
Posted by Mike Weedon at 6:01 PM
On phalarope beach (the dots on the far right are Red-necked Phalaropes)
Male Pallid Harrier
Male Red-footed Falcon
Photographers trying for Red-necked Phalarope (check out that extreme handheld digiscoping technique!)
Great White Egret
Lark chick – I'm not sure which sepcies, but Black Larks and Sky Larks were common at this site
Posted by Mike Weedon at 5:53 PM