Thursday 29 June 2023

Goosander surprise, and two red letter insects

A fresh west breeze. Sunny spells.

Middleton Nature Reserve (JP/MD)
Janet checked just before lunch and spotted
Goosander 1 surprisingly early juvenile on the main pond.  Goosander have historically been very uncommon in the recording area, but we had adults off passage in the spring and now a juvenile.

I checked just after lunch the Goosander was still around.
Juvenile Goosander
It was actively feeding, but not wasting any effort. It was searching for a target by snorkelling then diving after it. A House Martin then a Swift zip past, with sound effects, during this clip.

Not the most elegant of dives, but effective. It caught a Tench.

Goosander with a Tench

After that it chilled for a while and provided nice views of its plumage.

On the "no swimming" pond there was a male Gadwall in eclipse, plus a female with six well developed young. Previous sightings of a female with young on this pond there were only five. So, either one had been out of sight on all previous sightings or there are two broods. Time should tell.
Female Gadwall with a brood of six

Red-Veined Darter 1 male on the west bank of the main pond
Male Red-Veined Darter

Also: Four-Spotted Chaser, Black-Tailed Skimmer and Emperors 
Female Large White

Other insect shots from Janet:
Female Meadow Brown
Also Ringlet and Small Skipper
Silver Y

The Six-spot Burnet clearly like this flower

Common Green Grasshopper 

South shore
Nature Park - Kevin Eaves
Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1 feeding on the Buddleia
Hummingbird Hawkmoth 

Cinnabar moth Caterpillar 

Small Tortoiseshell 
Also seen:
Ringlet (several)
Meadow Brown
Red Admiral
Speckled Wood
Small White
Small Skipper
Six-spot Burnet

I did a quick morning check at High Water (MD)
No gulls on Red Nab, a large group out from the saltmarsh, but mainly Black-Headed gulls, only 2 adult and 2 first summer Mediterranean gulls with them.
Curlew 151 strung out along the waterline.
Lapwing 2
Linnet 10 on saltmarsh 

A walk along the sea wall in the evening rising tide fared little better.
Mediterranean Gulls 10+ there were 2 adult and 2 first summer on beach next to wooden jetty and on No.1 outflow (not a single large gull on this beach today). There were lots of gulls along the stream of fresh water beyond Red Nab at least 2 more adult and 4 first summer. Unfortunately they were flushed by a dog before I could have a close look.
Rock Pipit - just a solitary bird near the lighthouse not feeding.

Janet had commented on how many Silver Y there were on
Middleton today. Then went home to find her garden full of them too!