Jun 062017

The Burnt Orchid (Neotinea ustulata) is a Nationally Scarce species and very rare in Derbyshire. The Flora of Derbyshire states that it is now only found in just 5 1km squares in the White Peak. I was lucky enough to see this plant for the very first time on Saturday 3rd June. A very distinctive and beautiful orchid and there were at least 15-20 spikes in a small area of limestone grassland. Most of the spikes were rather small, so I guess this was due to the very dry spring and a number of the flower spikes were beginning to turn brown at the tips. Unfortunately, as is often the case these days with rare flora, some crazy people seem to want to destroy or dig up orchids, I cannot understand their mentality. 


Burnt Orchid – Derbyshire – June 2017 – Tony Davison©




 Posted by at 9:25 am
Jun 052017

Saturday 3rd June and Glyn, Richard and myself weaved our way to one of the Yorkshire Carr Reserves. Potteric Carr is an excellent Yorkshire Reserve and a good place for Dragonflies, Bittern, Marsh Harrier and a variety of water birds. Black-necked Grebe can sometimes be seen from the designated footpaths that meander around the many lagoons, or from one of the numerous hides. When they are on view they are totally oblivious to the numerous people that walk around the reserve and if one remains still and quiet, they sometimes show very well. Once called the “Eared Grebe”, at this time of year, as with all our grebes, they are stunning in their breeding plumage. Several Dragonflies were on the wing including Hairy Dragonfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Small Red Damselfly. Banded Demoiselle, Broad-bodied Chaser and Four-spotted Chaser. A Bittern showed well, as it flew quickly over one of the reed beds and several Marsh Harrier were also on the wing. My year list remains static at 199.

Black-necked Grebe – Above 3 images – Stunning birds in their breeding plumage – Tony Davison©

Common BuzzardTony Davison©

Broad-bodied Chaser – immature male – Potteric Carr, Yorkshire – Note the single spot in the upper corner of each wing – Tony Davison©

Four-spotted Chaser – above 3 images – 2 different females – Potteric Carr, Yorkshire – note the 4 spots on each pair of wings – Tony Davison©

Banded Demoiselle – male – Potteric Carr, Yorkshire – Tony Davison©



 Posted by at 7:30 pm
Jun 042017

My wife Helen and I decided to head back to the beautiful Aegean Island of Samos for our usual weeks holiday. This was to be our 4th visit, to the same hotel and location and we really like our little Shangri-la. This year the bird activity around and over the hotel was rather quiet and a little disappointing in comparison to the other years we have visited. Still I managed around 50 Bee-eater during the week, 6 Eleonora’s Falcon, 2 Long-legged Buzzard, 2 White Stork, 1 Short-toed Eagle, 1 Red-footed Falcon, several Red-rumped Swallow, 1 Sardinian Warbler, 4 Chukkar, 5 Peregrine, lots of Hooded Crow, lots of Yellow-legged Gull, several “Samos” Jay, pair of White Wagtail, Tawny Owl, large numbers of migrating Swallow & House Martin, all being the main highlights. Butterfly highlights were a Southern Swallowtail, Common Swallowtail, Long-tailed Blue, Cleopatra, Ilex Hairstreak, Holly Blue, Large Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow, probably Aegean Meadow Brown and Large White. Two Dragonflies – Odalisque and Beautiful Demoiselle.

Interestingly there are a number of races of Jay across Greece, but the black crowned race – Garrulus glandarius samios is exclusive to Samos and Ikaria.

European Bee-eater – above 2 images – Samos, Greece. Tony Davison©

Hooded Crow – Samos, Greece – Tony Davison©

“Samos” Jay – This “Black-Crowned” race is exclusive to Samos & Ikaria – Tony Davison©

White Stork – Samos, Greece – Tony Davison© – This bird was one of 2 that were migrating over the island one morning.

Yellow-legged Gull – above 2 images – Samos, Greece – Tony Davison©

Long-tailed Blue – Samos, Greece – Tony Davison©

Aegean Meadow Brown – Samos, Greece – Tony Davison©

OdalisqueEpallage fatime – Samos, Greece – Tony Davison© – A mature male, recognised by the blue body.

Beautiful Demoiselle – male – above 2 images – Samos, Greece – Tony Davison©

Beautiful Demoiselle – female – Samos, Greece – Tony Davison©


 Posted by at 9:54 pm
May 212017

I decide to spend a few hours in the hide at Willington Gravel Pits this morning. Plenty of activity across the reserve but passage migration was very quiet. My highlight of the day was listening to a Cuckoo from my bedroom window, belting away at 5:30am. The dawn chorus was amazing this morning.

Common Tern – Above 3 images – Willington, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Black-headed Gull – Willington, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Canada Goose family – Willington, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Great Crested Grebe – Willington, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Reed Warbler – Willington, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

 Posted by at 8:11 pm
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