Friday 4 June 2021

Puffin best of interesting early morning variety

Light WSW wind moving to WNW by evening. Some cloud early on but quickly breaking up to leave a largely warm and sunny day.

Early morning report from Pete:
Sea 0630-0745, 0810-0825 north wall SSW 2: 
Gannet 33 - mostly immatures 3-4cy
Raz/Guill 30
Guillemot 12
Greylag goose 4 south
Canada goose 12 + 18 north
Puffin - one out c0710
Raven - one in-off then south. 

Ocean Edge
Mediterranean gull 1 2cy
Plus 125 Black-Headed gull and 19 Common gull

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Mute and Mallard status unchanged.
Gadwall 1 male
Little grebe 1 immature 
Between myself and Kevin, we managed to hear all nine of the regular warblers singing (although we both only managed eight apiece).
Including :
Cetti's warbler 2 (central marsh and "no swimming" pond males)
Grasshopper warbler 1, possibly 2 either side of the dividing road between central and western marsh.

Not many butterfly species:
Small White, Speckled Wood, Small Heath.

Lots of Damselflies everywhere 
Female Large Red Damselfly (one of several variants)

Male Large Red Damselfly 

Broad-bodied Chaser 6+
Broad-bodied Chasers are very distinctive, even when resting in the tree tops.
Four-Spotted Chaser 7+
Emperor 1 female plus possibly a male (or large Hawker)
Black-tailed Skimmer 1 female
Female Black-tailed Skimmer

I bumped into David Poole by the small scrape on the SW corner of the western marsh. He had already found several empty nymph cases on the rushes in the SE corner of the pond. After only a few minutes we had found at least 9!
This is the area in question 

The width of the abdomen make Broad-bodied Chaser favourite.
I thought at first that the white strands on all of the cases suggested some sort 
of parasite. But I've looked into it and they are the tubes the nymph needs to
transport oxygen from the gills around its body. Not required in the air breathing adult form (MD)

 This is an indicator of size - I have long fingers

There was one on almost every path out of the water

This one had fallen from where it had emerged, but hadn't moved far or taken on
much water. I suspect that most, if not all,  the cases are from a very recent emergence.