Bugboys mission

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millerd
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby millerd » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:43 pm

That WLH is a brilliant sighting. :) I wonder how many others are dotted around the parks of Central London?

You've inspired me to look more carefully at the elm suckers in hedgerows on my local patch. One was healthy enough to support a few Comma caterpillars a few years back so you never know.

Happy New Year!

Dave

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Neil Freeman
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:34 pm

bugboy wrote:I've kept myself busy on these cold dark evenings when not enjoying the merriment of the season, updating my mission in pictorial form :) ...

just that one pesky gap to fill on the bottom row!


That is a great way to show the progress of your mission bugboy...great stuff :D

All the best with filling that last space with Mountain Ringlet.

Cheers,

Neil

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:06 pm

David M wrote:That's an ingenious way of summarising your yearly 'missions', Bugboy. You've come a long way since 2014, that's for sure.
I've no doubt you'll bag the Mountain Ringlet this summer to make your chart complete, and you may well encounter one or two more 'exotics' as well!
Best of luck with it! :)

Thanks David, I've certainly managed to pack a lot in in the intervening 3 years :) and most enjoyable it has been too :D
Paul Harfield wrote:
bugboy wrote: I found myself with half an hour spare at work (ssshhhhh)


Nice work Bugboy :D . That's not a bad return for half an hours looking. Hopefully there is a thriving colony there.
When it comes to the flight season my advice would be to wait until the first WLH are recorded elsewhere then spend your day looking once you know they are out. At the first opportunity when the weather is good of course. Don't be put off if after spending a half day looking you see nothing give it another try a few days later, if you have the time to spare of course. Good luck :D

Thnaks Paul, I suspect a few lunch breaks will be spent watching those Elms too. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the larger suckers haven't yet been struck down by DED!

millerd wrote:That WLH is a brilliant sighting. :) I wonder how many others are dotted around the parks of Central London?

You've inspired me to look more carefully at the elm suckers in hedgerows on my local patch. One was healthy enough to support a few Comma caterpillars a few years back so you never know.

Happy New Year!

Dave

I'm sure there are loads of colonies discretely going about their business in London with all it's green spaces, assuming there's a few Elms dotted around. Historically London Plane's are the tree of choice in the built up areas with their ability to cope with air pollution, but I'd be surprised there aren't a few Elms in places like Hampstead Heath and the Royal Parks. I know they're on Alexandra park.

Definitely worth you having a closer look at any local Elm you know about, especially now you have a lot of extra time on your hands :wink:. You'll need to get your eye in though, they don't stand out like the Brown cousins.

Neil Freeman wrote:
bugboy wrote:I've kept myself busy on these cold dark evenings when not enjoying the merriment of the season, updating my mission in pictorial form :) ...

just that one pesky gap to fill on the bottom row!


That is a great way to show the progress of your mission bugboy...great stuff :D

All the best with filling that last space with Mountain Ringlet.

Cheers,

Neil

Thanks Neil, just have to keep my fingers crossed the weather play fair, I have the second half of June safely booked off :)
Some addictions are good for the soul!

MrSp0ck
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby MrSp0ck » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:00 pm

There are Plenty of mature elms in Central London and in the SW London Area, and South Croydon. I have seen a few North of the river while on bus conductor duties, but still need to narrow down their locations.

Surrey BC have been mapping Elms for the last few years, there is a nice elm on the South Circular near to Kew Gardens, Bessant Drive on the edge of a green triangle, WLH were found to be on this tree.

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:05 pm

The sun came out for a decent amount of time today so I was able to get a few better shots of my WLH egg today at work. Thankfully it still remains invisible to the numerous small birds that are constantly foraging in the vicinity.
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I've done a few searches since finding this single egg but I've yet to find anymore, hopefully there's more higher up out of reach :)
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Andrew555
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Andrew555 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:06 am

Love those charts Bugboy, a great idea. Best of luck with your mission for this year. :)

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:44 pm

Thanks Andrew, just a bit of messing around really :). Only the one to go noe, what could possibly go wrong :D :lol:

I spent the afternoon walking around Epping Forest again today, looking for these mystical Hawfinch that have invaded the east of the country this winter, they remain elusively mystical to me but there was plenty else to see on an otherwise grey, dingy, mizzly day. Light levels were pretty awful however so the photo's are all very much of the 'record' variety.

Nuthatches and Treecreepers were relatively commonplace, foraging amongst the large groups of Long-tailed, Blue, Great and Coal Tits.
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and on Connaught Water on the southern end of the forest were some Goosander (and a Pintail drake who stayed out of camera range) mixing in with the usual collection of dabbling and diving ducks. They were drawing a fair bit of attention as you can see on the opposite bank. When I reached the group of Birdwatches they stopped to ask for confirmation of what they were and were all very chuffed to find out what they had been looking at :)
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Goosander drakes. (there was also a single female)

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Shoveler

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Tufted Duck & a Great-crested Grebe in it's less flamboyant winter getup.
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Allan.W.
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Allan.W. » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:09 pm

Love the shot of the Goosanders Bugboy ,and the birders in the background busily checking their field guides !
I also had a look for Hawfinches in part of the Orlestone forest over the Christmas holiday ,and was lucky enough to see 2 (and get a couple of naff shots ) Well pleased ! Regards Allan.W.

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Wurzel
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Wurzel » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:21 pm

Great shots of the Goosander Bugboy :D :mrgreen: - not a species to get close to easily - they're either in the very middle or far reaches of a lake :roll: :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Andrew555
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Andrew555 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:19 am

I think I have a single pic of a Goosander, in the far middle of a lake, exactly as Wurzel says.. :lol:
Cheers

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Goldie M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Goldie M » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:17 pm

Hi! Bugboy, looks like we're seeing the same birds, Goosenders,/Shovelers, :D Goldie :D

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:56 pm

Thanks Wurzel and Andrew, those Goosander were indeed firmly stationed in the center of the lake, luckily it's a smallish lake so still just about in range for me :) (the picture is rather cropped :wink:)
Looks like it doesn't it Goldie :)


12th January, Bookham

My first trip of the year to (a very muddy) Bookham Commons. Had I had a bit better luck I’d have gone on Wednesday, the only decent day down here in the south east this week. Unfortunately that coincided with the only day I was working this week, so I chose a day when the cloud cover was predicted to be slightly thinner than the others.

Eggs and birds were the menu of today, I found some more Brown Hairstreak eggs including a couple conveniently laid next to the train station, one positioned even more conveniently on an isolated sprig, making it easy for me to find the caterpillar if it survives that long.
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My Purple Hairstreak egg is still attached where I left it last year and a bit of searching turned up a further two more on the same low hanging bough (the neatly tied blade of grass is my discreet marker for the egg).
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Checking on the single Red Admiral egg I discovered a further three more which must have been laid since my last visit (I can’t believe I’d have missed them given how closely I’d searched the area before)
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If any mycologists happen to know what this tiny mushroom is I’d be grateful (about 1.5cm diameter)
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Birdlife was pretty standard fare for the time of year but a few were getting ahead of the game, some Jackdaws were squabbling over a hole in a tree and the Herons were showing a bit of interest in one of the Heronry’s.
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A Heron staking its claim!

The Flocks of Redwing and Tits were all still in winter mode though, food the only thing on their minds.
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This Nuthatch was hammering the hell out of this dead branch, or something it had wedged in a groove.

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Blue Tit

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Marsh Tit

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You can see I was peering through the undergrowth at this Goldfinch as he stuffed his face with Burdock seeds.

A very pleasant way to spend an otherwise damp and cloudy January day
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Goldie M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Goldie M » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:58 pm

Nice shots of the Birds and eggs Bugboy, it will be interesting to know what the mushroom shape is, hope some one knows! Goldie :D

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Andrew555
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Andrew555 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:28 am

Nice selection Bugboy, seems a great area for birds. :)

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Wurzel
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Wurzel » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:10 pm

Nice report Bugboy :D and good to see a Marsh Tit so as to make a comparison with Goldie's Willow Tit :D Good to see the egg haul increased as well :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:21 pm

Thanks Goldie, yes I hope I can put a name to it, most of my fungi images are nameless :lol:
It is Andrew, it's a good spot to visit whatever your interest I think :)
Thanks Wurzel, just shows there's always something to find, even on the coldest, dreariest days :)

16th January, Essex

Back in October I visited Two Tree Island on the edge of the Thames estuary, just over a narrow stretch of water from my WLH site, and had planned a birding trip later in the winter. That day arrived today. Essexbuzzard had recommended I go to the western end where some scrapes and salt marsh lagoons provide safe refuges for Waders at high tide. Thankfully the tide was in when I arrived and as I approached the area I was greeted with the familiar piping calls of various waders.

Redshank were flying along the channel separating the island from the mainland
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But the best sights were waiting for me in the lagoon. Waders aren’t my strong suit when it comes to birds, particularly at this time of year when many of them moult into very similar winter plumage, but I do know my Lapwing from my Avocet!
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The main bulk of waders were, I think, Knot and Dunlin but there were also good numbers of Ringed Plover and a smattering of Grey Plover dotted around.
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Pale grey Knot at the rear with slightly smaller, browner Dunlin, closer. at the bottom are four Ringed Plover and a single Grey Plover

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Ringed Plover to the right.

A few Avocet were feeding close to the hide but the main bulk of around thirty were at the other end of the lagoon.
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Avocet at the rear with a pair of Shelduck, more Ringed Plover and and Oystercatcher having a stretch on the mudflat

Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, the odd Curlew were lurking in amongst the more numerous species
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Avocet, Lapwing & Oystercatcher

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Curlew & Grey Plover

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Black-tailed Godwit and Avocet

In the middle of the lagoon were what I think were a couple of Greenshank, sharing their little Island with a small flock of Turnstone.
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Greenshank (I think) and if you look VERY closely on this VERY heavily cropped image you might just see the hint of a Turnstone or two!

A couple of Snipe were also visible making a total of 13 species of Wader, not too shabby and well worth the bracing icy breeze that was blowing in my face for most of the day!
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Spot the Snipe (there's 2)

Wandering further around I found the bulk of the local Curlews, preferring to sit out the high tide on the salt marsh vegetation and further out in the estuary, out of camera range, were a few Brent Geese.
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I did go and see if I could find some WLH eggs in the afternoon but the vast majority of the elm is fairly mature sucker growth defended by bramble thickets and so out of reach. Can't wait for spring to arrive but days out like these do help make the winter pass a little bit easier :)
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Wurzel
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Wurzel » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:52 pm

Great set of images Bugboy - the area is very reminiscent of Poole Harbour - or at least what it used to be like when the Power Station was still about :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Goldie M
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby Goldie M » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:26 pm

Weather looking better than here Bugboy, lovely shots , rain snow and sleet here at present UGH! Goldie :D

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bugboy
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Re: Bugboys mission

Postby bugboy » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:00 pm

Thanks, Here's a couple more images from yesterday. They would occasionally become restless, either spooked by something (I never saw any birds of prey ) but I think they could sense the tide turning. I didn't stay long enough to get the full murmuration effect as they left for the afternoon feeding grounds but they still looked pretty amazing :)
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