We're doing well for weather at the moment so making the most of it by visiting Burton Mere yesterday; with that in-between season of leaving summer visitors and awaiting our winter friends it was somewhat quiet on the small bird front. Waders and geese were present plus Snipe and even an elusive Water Rail although these were a little distant so only record shots were possible. The warm sunshine brought out an abundance of dragonflies (I think mainly Common Darter and possibly Migrant Hawker) plus hoverflies, shield bugs, beetles and bees.
Here is a selection of species: (oh Nige, I know I should study more on the names of species but you have to allow for my age and memory too ) !!
A Common Carder bee (thanks to Nige for his excellent ID)0
I still like the name Furry Bee lol once again a Carder Bee.
next, a 7 spot ladybird (I was really looking for a common lizard but being a no show I photographed the bug instead)
and a green shield bug - one of several
Green bottle fly
Alder Beetle (thanks to Alan for ID)
Hoverfly (but don't think its a footballer ! ) maybe Helophilus Trivittatus ? lol
Snails were not to be left out ……………… maybe a white-lipped on left and a banded on the right
next ? hmmmm only view I could get.
Next were the dragonflies, I think mainly Common Darters - feel free to correct
does it have lunch ? can't make it out properly
Female Southern Hawker (thanks Nige for ID)
it gets a bit lost on the green leaves !
There were several butterflies around but only these would stop for a photo …..
and small white ? couldn't see underwings
The only little birds I managed to snap were a Long tailed tit and then a blue tit in same pic
flocks of geese were coming in squadrons - greylags
A common buzzard was seen over IMF pool - sadly I missed the Kestrel which passed over
Lapwings were plentiful and a spectacular sight when the were spooked into the air
There were half a dozen Snipe around Inner Marsh Farm pool (sun was not in best position for photos)
and a very shy water rail that I only just managed to capture on camera (hard cropped)
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
A nice collection of insects, even if not many birds (or lizards) were showing. Nice to see the Snipe and Rail, birds that I see much more after breeding season, so it seems Summer is definitely waning!
You'll have to learn the Common Carder soon ... or furry bee, as you've called it, as it's one of the commonest you'll see
Yes, the red dragons are all Common Darters and it does look like you got one with dinner.
Your Migrant Hawker is female but somewhat ironically it's the other regularly seen one in the North, a Southern Hawker (more yellow on face/eyes and, more critically, distinct "headlights" on top of the thorax).
I don't try with small, blue-black beetles ... too many of them (although knowing the plant it's on can help!)
Footballer or not? The real differences are in the face and leg colours, so it's not possible to call from the photo.
"Next ,,, hmm" Another hoverfly, one of the Eristalini, possibly the Common Drone fly, (it mimics honey bee drones), Eristalis Tenax, although again you really need to see the face and legs to be sure as there are a few similar ones.
Thanks Nige, really appreciate your response and all the very helpful ID tips; I'll try remember those excellent pointers you've given. Interesting about the Southern Hawker as I said to Mike I wasn't totally convinced I had a female Migrant Hawker but when I searched internet I couldn't find a near match to my photo; really I should have gone to Flickr. as often the photos there are much clearer for a better comparison. There were so many insects that day I could have ended up with 500 photos but most were same looking species so I controlled myself on the shutter button lol It seems that the glorious weather has now been replaced with heavy showers and thunderstorms so that may be the end of the butterflies :( On the good side we will soon get more migrant birds in and favourite waders and other waterfowl … and equally thrilling is that Mike and I get to spend more time on bird/nature watching as we don't have any leaves to sweep up :) !! once again Nige, thanks for such helpful info, now all I have to do is remember !
My Flickr photos
My bird photos HERE
In reply to Paul A:
Paul A said:You've given me the urge to get back out and about more often than of late. :-)
I'm missing your posts and photos so look forward to hearing about your birding adventures - no pressure lol
In reply to HAZY:
HAZY said:Thanks Nige, really appreciate your response and all the very helpful ID tips
HAZY said:I should have gone to Flickr. as often the photos there are much clearer for a better comparison.
I find it difficult to ID stuff like that, unless you know roughly what it is in the first place and just want confirmation. Too many are either wrongly ID'd or trawled up randomly by some strange search engine algorithm. I just used to ask the web eg "Dragonfly ID UK" and it normally comes up with a reliable society site and they tell you what markers are key ID traits and where/when you're likely to see it or not, as well having example photos ID'd by genuine enthusiasts as opposed to random people like me . It's not for everyone, but I like to work out what I've seen if I can and maybe get some pointers on what else I should be looking for as well.
Lot to learn
@ Nige, yes that's true, often the photos are mis-identified when using Flickr. or googling public photos and although I used the UK dragonfly website initially I must have failed to click on the male Southern Hawker pic to find the female hiding on next page ! besides, what is a southern hawker doing in Cheshire unless you are searching it from Scotland LOL
@ Gaynor, life would be so much simpler if we had names such as fluffy bee, furry bee or stripey bee ! Regarding the rail, I'm hoping now that breeding season is at an end that Walter Rail at Leighton Moss will still be around and tempted to come to the call for live worms this winter ! Think with Nige's Cetti's Warbler and Bob's juvie Rail we are going to have to re-write those books about shy and elusive birds !
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