A remarkable record of a colour-ringed Little Stint which had been ringed in Norway this Autumn was seen on No.6 tank this morning. The finder Greg Baker did some detective work and narrowed down its previous location at one of three sites in that country. He asks if anyone sees this bird to attempt to read the three letters on the yellow ring and hopefully we can narrow it down further – Giske OS located in northwestern Norway, Revtangen OS located in southwestern Norway and Jomfruland located in southeastern Norway.
No 6 Tank: 5 Curlew Sandpiper (1 adult and 4 juveniles) arrived with the main Dunlin and Ringed Plover flock just after 10 am. 4 juvenile Little Stint were already present (including a colour-ringed individual whose origins it will be interesting to investigate) as were 12 Ruff and a single Black-tailed Godwit.
9 Greenshank were roosting at the secluded pool also on No.6 Tank and 5 Chiffchaff were counted along the top track.
A large flock of wagtails and pipits on the dry mud included 3 Yellow, c30 White and 50 Pied Wagtail along with plenty of Meadow Pipit and a few Skylark.
Earlier at the Weaver Bend: 4 Pintail, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 51 Redshank, 4 Little Grebe and 4 Chiffchaff.
Observer and images: Greg Baker.
Nature Notes #45
As autumn progresses and the mornings hover above freezing, the onset of winter isn’t too far away in real terms. Migrant birds pour through Britain on their way south with all the warblers and hirundines becoming less common by the day. Pink-footed Geese have already begun arriving, the first of tens of thousands of birds that will spent the winter in the UK.
Insects are mainly in pupal stage ready for emergence next year, yet there is one family that are still obvious on sunny, calm, warm autumnal days, the hoverflies. Mainly migrants with a few residents, they feed on the last flowering Perennial Sow-thistles and Marsh Woundworts, Creeping Thistles and Bindweeds.
I found a patch of Bindweed Convolvulus arvensis on the track alongside No.6 tank. It had many of these insects feeding on it. A really nice, delicate flower, unobtrusive amongst the nettles and thistles. I really like this species of bindweed with its blue stamens.
The hoverfly is probably a Syrphus or Eupeodes species butthe photo isn’t good enough for an identification.
Image 3: Episyrphus balteatus. Much easier is the commonest hoverfly in Britain, Episyrphus balteatus, which is a common resident and migrant and can even be seen in winter on mild days as it hibernates.
Another attractive species is Eupeodes corollae which I found feeding on the Perrenial Sow-thistles on No4 tank. It too is a migrant and can be common even in gardens.
Image 4: Eupeodes corollae
A species pair were also found on the Sow-thistles. Helophilus hybridus and Helophilus trivittatus which look very similar but H.trivittatus is a brighter, more lemony yellow, rather than the deeper yellow of
Image 5: Helophilus hybridus. H.hybridus is a resident species that is found in wetlands across Britain whereas H.trivittatus is a migrant that frequents coastal areas and river courses.
Image 6: Helophilus trivittatus
Lastly and a species that I’d been looking out for, is a specialist hoverfly that occurs around woodland and field edges but in most other habitats as well. Rhingia campestris has an exceptionally long rostrum (like a long nose) that encloses a proboscis that allows the insect to feed in deep tubular flowers like Red Campion and Marsh Woundwort. I found several lethargically feeding on the latter along the path along the Weaver by the Lum. The larvae feed in fresh cattle dung or silage. A very nice find indeed, especially when the birds fail to perform.
Image 7 and 8: Rhingia campestris.
Written and illustrated by Tony Broome.