Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Curlew sandpipers going south

Had another go at cranberry blue (Vaciniina optilete) today at Bränneslätt. A better shot but still not perfect. All my stuff is handheld at the moment, I ordered a monopod from Cyberphoto last week but it transpires that they have forgotten to post it to me!!! How is that possible in this day and age?

Spent most of the day after dragonflies again, the sun this time putting on an impressive show during the swimming but clouds drifted in during the afternoon. In the morning we had a quick look at the shallow pond by the railway tracks at Ljungbyholm. The first Aeshna grandis of the year was spotted but otherwise it was quiet here.

In the afternoon I risked a mutiny amongst the troops by going once again to Bränneslätt. My idea was that with some actual sun we might be able to ascertain for sure whether Somatochlora arctica was present at the site and not just the abundant ticks that festoon our bodies after three visits. It amazes me that arctica has never been recorded here in the past, the habitat is perfect, it amazes me even more now because three were flying about when we arrived! In contrast to our previous visits there were quiet a few Coenagrion hastulatum on the wing too - recently emerged? A reflection in the pool revealed the presence of an over-flying osprey and a cuckoo winged through the clearing at one point too. Oh and the troops mutinied.

Crossing the road we checked out the nearby ponds, dodging the huge numbers of juvenile frogs and toads as best we could. Here there was plenty on the wing with seven species of damselfly including my first Erythromma najas of the year. Big stuff was on the wing briefly too before the sun went in including a nice male Libellula depressa, two Somatochlora metallica and another Aeshna grandis.

Last stop of the day was Klarningen in search of southward-bound migrant waders. No disappointment here with the site's first adult curlew sandpipers - three  - gracing the shoreline of the big pool. Also here at least 13 greenshank, 20+ wood sandpipers, one green sandpiper and two ruff.

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