Sunday, 31 August 2008

Redstarts, and supporting cast

It's not often that we see both Black and Common Redstarts on one day, but that was the case this Sunday - in admittedly very different habitats.
The former (a stunning males and two juveniles or females) are resident at Samphire Hoe, and thanks are due to Ian Roberts for showing them to us, and for pointing out the nesting place of a pair of Peregrines who could be seen and heard on the high cliffs.

The Black Redstarts are easily seen (at a distance), but not easily photographed......
......unlike the brazen Stonechats which must have numbered about 20 around the Hoe.......
....or indeed this Adonis Blue which came readily to hand.
A gorgeous Small Copper was within a few feet of the Blue, making a lovely contrasting sight.
One of the first colonisers of the 'newest part of England' was Sea Buckthorn which is looking very attractive as its berries take on their bright colour. Measure for measure, they are ten times richer in Vitamin C than oranges.
In a very different habitat to the dry Hoe, we came across a mixed flock of birds while walking across some lush fields beside a rich piece of woodland scrub.
SteveR spotted a Common Redstart which disappeared before the paparazzi were ready, although it was briefly seen again later; and my contribution was to snap this littl'un and misidentify it as a Garden Warbler, until a bout of worry over why such a skulking bird should be on top of a bush led me to conclude that it might in fact be a Pied Flycatcher.
I'm probably wrong on both counts.

In the woods were many fungi, and perhaps somebody can explain why some had grown bushy beards?


Greenie said...

Steve ,
Spot on with the 'at a distance' for the Black Redstarts photos . I have spent an hour or two following them along the concrete and round the corner on the rocks , with similar results as yourself .
I wouldn't argue with female / juvenile Pied Flycatcher ,making it a great bird list .
Your fungi appears to be Amanita rubescens-The Blusher , and the 'beard' , just natural decay of anything organic , that hasn't been picked or eaten .
I believe the Early Spider Orchids didn't do well there this year .
Good read as ever .

Warren Baker said...

I agree with the Greenie. Pied Flycatcher.

Steve Gale said...

Great place Samphire Hoe, especially the thousands of Early Spider Orchids in May.

Mary said...

Beautiful butterflies! Does the Sea Buckthorn taste as good as human's eat the berries? It does look attractive with those bright red berries. That fuzzy fungi is strange!