Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Looking for waders

Put the trap out last night but the moth numbers were a bit down with 89 moths of 25 species and nothing even new for the year.

Its been several years since I visited Tribley farm ponds which are the other side of the Cong Burn. I remember they used to be quite good for waders having seen Common, Green and Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Greenshank and others in the past but its a long time since I heard any reports from there at all. So armed with my new enthusiasm off I trekked. Past the old Waldridge Tavern, now all boarded up, through the Cong Burn Woods and I was there. I was surprised how much vegetation there was around the pond, as last time it was just water standing in a hollow in the field. Now it has a typical wet marsh/pond flora. But there was a shortage of waders. 20 Curlew were feeding in the  adjacent stubble but after a good search the result was a single feeding Common Snipe. About a dozen hirundines were feeding over it including 2 Sand Martin. I walked down to the water's edge hoping for some dragonflies and managed a single Southern Hawker. Some nice plants were present including masses of Marsh Cudweed and Marsh Yellow-cress. A covey of 14 Grey Partridge were flushed and a Yellow Wagtail flew over which was very nice as I had already seen its two commoner relatives on the way over.

Tribley farm pond

Walked back through Cong Burn Woods where I got a few sightings of 1-2 Common Hawker but no sign, not surprisingly, of Hawfinch, which I have seen here in the past. Lots of ferns including some fine Hard Shield-fern in the darker, wettest parts.

Hard Shield-fern

 Typically in August the woods were quiet with only the odd juvenile Chiffchaff flitting about, 2 family parties of Long-tailed Tit and the occasional snatch of a Robin's autumnal song. A few Wall and a single Meadow Brown butterfly were seen in the open glades before I was back among the heather on the fell. This area is very good for the hoverfly Leuconza glauca and the Wild Angelica had many of them. Then once again, it went very overcast, About 30 Swallows flew overhead of the inevitable rain which waited until I was about in the middle of the fell before it started.

The hoverfly Leuconza glauca 
So I beat a hasty retreat and headed home. Only Snipe and Curlew on the wader count but the Yellow Wagtail was nice surprise.


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