Dragonflies and Dartford Warblers

I think I will start today with one of my more exciting spots. Here’s a very poor photo of the bird in question:

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It’s hardly my finest photography work I will admit. But that bird is a Dartford Warbler. It’s one of those species twitchers get excited about and I was pleased to see a fair few of these today. Some were very close to the path and I got a really clear view of them. They are distinctive birds so I knew exactly what they were immediately. I saw these in area of the New Forest very close to Ringwood- Google Maps calls it “Kingston Common National Nature Reserve”.

I had an excellent day up in the forest and saw a few other interestings too, in between getting soaked by a monsoon-esque rain storm. Here is a really cool funnel web made by a Labyrinth Spider:


The spider was home and retreated deeper into the funnel as I peered down to take a look. Somewhere at the bottom of that tunnel are probably some eggs.

I also found a pond with some stunning dragonflies darting over it. This one is a male Broad-Bodied Chaser.

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And another blurry photo for which I can give a positive ID is this Emperor Dragonfly:


I thought it was about time for an update on the goose nursery I’ve been following. Here’s the nursery yesterday:


As you can see, it’s empty other than the odd rabbit. But in a field a little further along the path (and frustratingly obstructed by plants) was this view:


So it seems there are still some goslings around. I’m intrigued why the nursery has moved- I’ve been watching all week and that is definitely the case. My assumption is that whatever food source drew the geese to the original site has dried up. There are now considerably fewer young geese out on the fields. I was interested to see the younger geese out on the fishing lake and swimming in a mixed species line-both canada geese and greylag geese.


Meanwhile it has reached that time of year when our garden becomes overrun with starlings.


We easily get 20+ starlings every time the food is refilled. I guess this is because most of the nesting is done and now we the juveniles are starting to get their adult colours and are pretty much independent. Before the harsher weather comes and reduces the population we have a few months of starling chaos!

A few random things to end today. Here’s a hoverfly I spotted, Eristalis pertinax:


And I have had another fungus from my Blashford Lakes trip identified. This is a Ganoderma species. You can see some white parts on the fungus which look like they may be a different species but are actually parts which have grown this year.


Enjoy the rest of your weekend and see you soon!


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