First some action from Far Pasture. Just three visits to summarise. On the 5th the highlights were a perching Kestrel and an obliging Large White butterfly, before the journey home saved the day with an immature male Southern Hawker spotted at the top of the access road (an area which was very productive last year for the species too).
|Kestrel atop the dead tree, a regular perching post for birds of prey in the area.|
|Constantly on the look-out, this brown-capped female annoyed the |
resident GS Woodpecker, which was constantly alarm-calling throughout the time
she was perched, though didn't make an appearance.
|She posed for quite a while before being joined by the male, then they|
left the scene together, though didn't seem altogether friendly.
|This Large White butterfly was far more obliging than the few common darters |
in the area, which remained un-photographed.
|Don't know much about butterflies but the bold wing-spots mean this is a female,|
the male having very faint markings in similar position.
|Bright sunshine at the top of the access road, this feller was well camouflaged, the glistening wings |
gave him away.
|Showing the pale markings of an immature male|
|Closing in and he was pretty much settled, the usual bright blue tail markings are|
|The yellow markings are very pale too, and the brown eyes are another sign of|
Also note the unusual black mark at the left of the frons, (significance later.)
|Moving around for a look at his face, still a striking creature.|
But at least this time the darters were in photographable view :
|Maturing male Common Darter|
|Immature male Common Darter|
|Another immature male posing at a good height at last|
|I waited for this tiring male Southern Hawker to find a perch before closing in, but his position was just out of reach |
and into strong sunlight, so decent photos proved difficult, but luckily he soon found a new perch
in better view.
|But clambering around for a better angle I can see there is no extra black marking at the left of the frons (as pointed|
out earlier in the post) on this fella, so not the same one.
|So a second male feeding here. This one too has a distinguishing black mark|
making a distinctive 'cat's eye' mid-thorax.
Another one to keep a look out for.
My last visit to Far Pasture was late afternoon/early evening on the 22nd, but despite being a warm and bright evening, the whole area was in shadow from the lowering sun, and only half a dozen Common Darters showed on a small stretch of fence still bathed in sunlight.
So no Ruddy Darters yet, they seem to be getting later every year here, and the hoped for Migrant Hawkers weren't anywhere to be seen either, again they are usually out by now hawking the fields opposite the woodyard. To say Far Pasture has been disappointing this year is an understatement. And even at the top of the access road, there were no southern hawkers present on this occasion :-/