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Zugunruhe

Autumn is creeping  in and August is fading out.  I have never liked August it seems a nothing time so am well pleased to see the first trembling  of Autumn.  

There is a general restlessness amongst the birds, butterflies and moths that they feel before migration, as the nights start to draw in and the days get shorter.  The swifts are the first to go and soon all the martins and swallows will follow. 

BUT......  winter migrants are already coming down from the north as this photo shows on a recent visit to RSPB Burton Mere.......there are  Spoonbills in this photo, which has generated great excitement.


There is a transparent iridescence to the long  sunsets as they look more like stained glass than paintings.  AND  the Robin started singing loudly early this morning, not just a quick burst  but a long melody.  The day started very well.

There have been a large number of dragonflies and damsel flies,  whether this is because it is a good year or because I notice more I am not quite sure.  Taking photographs of such fast moving objects is a serious challenge so when one settles it is jumped upon.
 
Hawker, male



The last burst of butterflies is nearly over as their favourite buddleias start to turn to seed,  I was very fortunate to capture  3 species on the same bush, a Painted Lady, Red Admiral and Peacock.   Also with energetic chasing found my very first Small Heath.  Bearing in mind they are roughly the same size as  rabbit dropping it is amazing to be seen at all.


In all it has been a poor year for butterfly and bee surveys, possibly due to wet weather, but so many people sadly  seem to be hell bent on disposing of their gardens and creating back yards, that it is hardly surprising. 

Juvenile Goldfinches, Bluetits, Robins and Dunnocks are eating us out of house and home, their parents seem to bring them in hoards all together to show them the delights of the garden.  Juveniles appear to enjoy being together and are quite happy to muck in. 

Photo through kitchen window

The large bird bath seemed too scary  for the youngsters so we put out a tiny training one in which they all delighted taking their first baths.  Off course like all teenagers this is baby stuff now and they all bathe together in the big one.  The female Blackbird occupies the small one for a long soak.