Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Spot The Flycatchers

Sunday and off for our usual walk around the patch.  Within 10mins of setting off the coats were coming off as it started to get quite warm.  On the pond there were a couple of Great Crested Grebes, 22 Mute Swans, a couple of Teal, a Pochard, a couple of Gadwall, 4 Tufted Ducks, an indeterminate amount of Little Grebes but at least 10 and lots of Mallards and Moorhens.  Off on the walk the first thing we noticed was a few Southern Hawkers.  

Treecreepers were heard, Long Tailed Tits were observed and some birds that just looked different as they gave a couple of millisecond glimpses were hunted but nothing came of them.  2  Redstarts were seen in one of the regular places but no Partridge unfortunately.   I requested that we do the short walk so I could get round and get a pic of the new Emirates Boeing which started its regular slot on Saturday and becomes the biggest plane to fly in and out of Newcastle on a regular schedule.

There was quite a lot of Common Darters out also as the sun was really shining now which also meant that we saw plenty of Walls which were definitely the most numerous Butterfly of the day..

As we reached Alan Js predicted ideal spot for the Spotted Flycatcher a short while was spent looking but to no avail but just as we started off again a bird flew in and sure enough it was a Spotted Flycatcher.  I took a couple of pics but they were pretty lousy.  After about 10mins viewing we counted at least 3 and also a Whitethroat.  We then headed for the hides and after a look over the ponds we headed back to the Car Park.  We saw a Grey Heron having a bit of a battle with quite a large Eel which I videoed but havent got round to sorting it out yet so will post it later on this week.  I dropped Alan F off and headed for a burger as Carole had too many episodes of Eastenders to catch up on.  After I finished my burger I headed back to Big Waters to try and get a couple of shots/videos of the Spotted Flycatcher so that you could at least recognise them.  After about an hour I was positive that there were 4 of them and 2 Whitethroats all feeding from the same area.

I also put together a video with excerpts from about 20 short videos I took

Always better to watch thru UTube HD

Finally when I got home the next door neighbours had brought a caterpillar around to identify.  A quick look at the books and I was positive it was an Elephant Hawk Moth which when I looked at pics of the Moth itself it was absolutely amazing colours.  Carole's job is now to watch for them as she has now got hundreds of pics of Peacocks, Whites and a few Red Admirals on the Budelia Bush in the garden.

We put it back in the exact spot they had found and the next morning I sneaked in and found 2 by what appeared to be bean plants.
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