23 Sept 2019

15 Sep 19 - Migrant Hawker

Light Northerly winds, high pressure & clear skies meant the conditions were sunny & pleasant to be out Birding at St Aldhelms Head. There were large numbers of Hirundines moving slowly over the Head, but on a broad front & generally feeding. The movement was only visible by the periods of low Hirundine numbers. There were fifteen Wheatears & a small scattering of Warblers & other typical migrants. Perhaps the most interesting was this Migrant Hawker which was patrolling the trees by Trev's quarry (AKA the Two-barred Greenish Warbler site). It got me thinking. Most of my sightings of this species have been like this, with Migrant Hawkers patrolling or perching on downland, with no nearby water sources. The nearest water is a small pool of water trapped by a slippage on the undercliff: it is over a half mile away. The Winspit sewerage pond and garden ponds in Worth Matravers are over a mile away. Apparently, this is typical behaviour for the species. Migrant Hawkers are happy to feed well away from water before they are sexually mature & may only appear at water when they are ready to breed.
Migrant Hawker: Male. Perching high up in a tree
Migrant Hawker: Male. It briefly perched low down as I walked back to the car
The larger Dragonflies generally seem to be very territorial on breeding territories. However, Migrant Hawkers seem to be happy in groups before they move to their breeding territories as the next photo shows.
Migrant Hawker: Again a non-breeding location (11 Aug 14)

17 Sept 2019

21 Aug 19 - Wood Mouse

Wood Mice seem to be the regular Mouse species in the Purbeck area of Dorset. I've seen them around the Garden for most of the years I've lived in Dorset. In the Winter, they have a habit of coming into the house, although with all their entry points now blocked up, this is largely a thing of the past. Given they are a cute-looking species, I've never been worried that they are around. They usually can't resist some food (if they get into the house) & get caught & released again in the garden. This individual has taken to feeding under the Bird feeders in the early morning, but it is easy disturbed. It disappears when the back door is open, as the feeders are only a few feet from the door. However, on this occasion, it reappeared when the door was still open & gave me a choice. Grab the camera & be late for work or hope for another occasion. It wasn't a difficult choice.
Wood Mouse: A new Mammal for the Blog. I have photographed them before, but poorly through the back door glass. Great eyes & big ears