Sunday, 4 October 2009

Seasonal mixture

It's the time of year when you don't know whether to put your coat on or take it off. I started with a fleece this morning, took it off after 10 minutes and put it back on about an hour later.

In the sunshine there were plenty of butterflies, like this Red Admiral, in addition there were Speckled Woods, Commas, Small Whites, a Peacock and a Clouded Yellow, that as usual didn't wait around for a picture.

More in tune with the wintry component were these two Snow Buntings. They've been around for a while and rather annoyingly tend to stay right up against the side of one of the footpaths. This does keep them sheltered but also keeps them in the shade most of the time.

Although the two birds are different in plumage I'm not sure about their ages. I think that they are both probably first winter birds.
I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can age and sex them as I find them quite difficult.

I mentioned yesterday that a Hoopoe had been seen in St Margaret's and today I received an e-mail from Jan Dixon with some pictures of the bird attached. Here's what she said:

"We luckily saw the Hoopoe in the field belonging to the Owl House Riding School (we live next door), in Station Road, St Margaret's at Cliffe.
It stayed there for about 10 minutes very close to our house and we could see it clearly. This was on Saturday 03 October at about 4pm."

They are fantastic birds and Jan did well to get some pictures as they can be shy and elusive. When they put their crests up they are one of the most distinctive birds in Europe. There are a few autumn records each year in the south of England of birds that have wandered off course during migration, and Jan was fortunate enough to have one pay a visit.

1 comment:

Gerald said...

Like your Snow Bunting pics