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Fen Bog

23 Jul

DSCN178923/7/16 Did Fen Bog for Keeled Skimmer with RL back in 2013 [see here including direction] . Today was mainly for ML but it was nice to have a change of scene as I haven’t been out of my usual area much this year due to not been able to get for things earlier this year and lack of anything worth the trip recently.

As expected on a warm Saturday at the beginning of the summer holidays the trip out was a bit of a drag and unfortunately it had cooled a bit on arrival but Keeled Skimmers had been seen recently. Walking from the car park I had a Common Lizard but as usual disappeared rapidly. Wandered around and had a couple of probables but nothing settled. Lots of distinctive ‘grass moths’ on the wings. A pig to photograph and usually just ignore them but managed a couple of reasonable shots, hopefully good enough to ID later.

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Catoptria margaritella or Pearl-band Grass Veneer

Still having no luck with dragonflies except for a what we thought was a female Common Darter but on studying my pictures proved to a Keeled Skimmer. We were considering moving to another site but met a couple who’d recently seen Keeled Skimmer in an area we had not checked yet so headed off there where amazingly ML managed to pick them out at a good range on the only decent pool we’d seen today .

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female Keeled Skimmer

We all scrambled down to it and eventually had at least a dozen, mostly male Keeled Skimmers. However were very active and rarely stopped for long in clear sight. We all ultimately managed some good shots, me by the tricky manual mode.

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male Keeled Skimmer

A lot of different micro moths on the wing and managed to ‘pot’ Brown China-mark but failed with another species which I still haven’t a clue about.

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Brown China-mark

Butterfly wise mainly Skippers, Ringlet and Small Heath, the latter very local in my regular area.

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Small Skipper

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Small Heath

Also had a large Fritillary, likely Dark Green but it just flew through but a couple had been seen two well in the car park. Didn’t see any of the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary which also were seen in the car park.

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RAF Fylingdales-I preferred the ‘golf balls’.

Later checked Eller Beck on the opposite side of the road. Managed one female Golden-ringed Dragonfly ovipositing a few feet below us.

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ovipositing Golden-ringed Dragonfly on Eller Beck

Bird wise very quiet with the upland breeding birds likely moved on and Wheatear was the only one I wouldn’t have seen just walking the dogs near my home.

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Hole of Horcum

Return journey was quicker helped by taking the A64 at Malton and thus avoiding the town centre bottleneck.

 

Fen Bog and Transmire Bog

28 Jul


Following an aborted trip last year and with a prolonged period of hot weather Roy and I decided to head up to North Yorkshire for Keel Skimmer on Monday 22 July. Initially didn’t look too good with low cloud but this burnt off before reaching Fen Bog. The car park is easily found off A169 almost opposite the Flyingdales RAF base [remember the iconic golf balls  but don’t know what the current structure is known as] and just south of the turn off to Gouthland. For details check here. Immediately found several fritillary butterflies, but checking the picture later were only Small Pearl Bordered, only one I’ve previously seen.

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Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary-Fen Bog

Also our 1st Keeled Skimmer.

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Keeled Skimmer-female-Fen Bog-my only picture due to battery failure. All others are Roy’s.

On entering the reserve proper immediately had a male Keeled Skimmer which was very settled, only flying to defend it’s territory from another male.

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Keeled Skimmer-male-Fen Bog

Also had a “hawker” presumed to be Southern. Only birdlife was Swallow, Chaffinch and Meadow Pipit. The North Yorkshire Railway passes the edge of the reserve so we had regular sightings of steam locomotives.

Moved on to Transmire where we had several close sightings of Golden-ringed Dragonflies on the stream. Good for me as I’d only had flight views previously.

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Golden-ringed Dragonfly-Tranmire Bog

Transmire itself is quite inconspicuous as it’s only a small depression close to the stream. It’s only on closer inspection you discover it’s boggy. Check here for directions. Several more Keeled Skimmers here, including a female found by Roy in grass, as described in the books. Also a good Southern Hawker.

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Keeled Skimmers-Transmire-male above, female below.

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Much better birding with, as well as Chaffinch and Meadow Pipit, a family party of Grey Wagtail and a few Siskin including a very bright male.

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Siskin-male-Transmire

Again a few Small Pearl Border Fritillaries.

[Editorial note-Any regular visitors to this blog will hopefully notice an improvement in picture quality as I’ve found the button that increases the size. Also anyone following my New York trip report can relax as I will post another episode soon.]