14 May 2014

14 May 14 - Family Photo Tick

In the Centennial Postings Part 1 & Part 2, I promised you I would start to add to the 84 families of birds I had already managed to photograph with the new Canon camera. That total ignored a few additional families of Birds that I had already photographed with my little Lumix, a video camera & quite a few more families with the old fashioned cameras that used film (young readers ask your parents about this, but stop listening if they start rambling on about the good old days). But I'm not going to count any of these families, as the quality of those photos is generally pretty average compared to the Canon. Anyway, if you can't stand the suspense of wondering what the family photo tick is, then go to the end now (as I've doing this post in order of the day's activities).
Common Frog: They are non breeding visitors in my ponds & haven't been very regular this year
After a few warm, sunny days, the birding was pretty quiet & I decided to switch to looking at insects. Last year while out at Studland looking for Downy Emerald & Hairy Dragonfly at this time of year, I found a Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Moth. So it seemed a good idea to try & see if I could find some more as well as look for Butterflies & Dragonflies.
Holly Blue
Wall: A bit tatty, but it was the only once I saw in a couple of hours of looking
Downy Emerald: This appeared on the Rhododendron on a couple of occasions. I really like their bronzy-green colouration
Four-spotted Chaser: The dark spots in the middle of leading edge of each wing is diagnostic
As for the Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Moth. It would appear for about 20 - 30 seconds with 5 sightings in total. Each time it flew around like a cross between a Hummingbird Hawk Moth & a Bumblebee, briefly stopping on a flower to grab some nectar, before disappearing out of my field of view again for another 15 minutes. I failed to get any photos, so here are last year's efforts with my Lumix.
Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Moth: A photo of last year's individual, as I've failed to get a photo after several attempts this year (2 June 13)
Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Moth: Another shot (2 June 13)
The final stop was the Studland churchyard, hoping for a migrant or two to be lingering there. No joy, but did get the family photo tick: an adult & recently fledged juvenile Dunnock. Dunnocks are the only regular member of the Accentors family in the UK, although there are also 45 accepted records of Alpine Accentor in the UK to date. I suspect many UK birders ignore looking at Dunnocks, but the birds in my garden are usually feeding very close to the kitchen, even more now since I installed several feeders there. As a result, I get to see them close up daily & they are full of character. Recently, the male is displaying & I'm also seeing begging actions from the female, as they are preparing to breed again (sexed based upon behaviour). I've also got a young bird from their first brood feeding regularly as well. Despite having only appeared in the last few days, it's very capable of feeding & looking after itself, although it's still a bit nervous & domineering compared to the very laid back adults.
Dunnock: Adult. The sexes are identical in plumage & aging them once the juveniles have lost their streaky juvenile plumage is very difficult (seem to remember there is a subtle difference in eye colour)
Dunnock: Juvenile
On the way back home, I spotted a sailing ship, the Royalist, which is a Marine Society & Sea Cadet sail training ship at mooring in Swanage Bay.
The Royalist sail training ship

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