2 May 2013

Close encounter with a Hobby

Lots of summer migrants at the patch today including 1 Common Tern E, 1 Cuckoo, 5 (2m, 3f) Northern Wheatear around the anthills, 1+ Lesser Whitethroat around the hawthorns, 2 Barn Swallow, 1 Northern Lapwing briefly around the anthills, and 1 Kingfisher along the Colne. The highlight was by far the very best views of a Hobby that I've ever had - a bird watched for about an hour down to 8 m resting on the anthills.

Adult Hobby resting on a Yellow Meadow Ant anthill

Check out the pinkish-buff patches on the nape


Dozing off. Check out the yellow eye-lid

Coughing up a pellet

On Stanwell Moor the Grasshopper Warbler was heard several times but frustratingly remained out of view, and 1 Cuckoo (same as earlier on Staines Moor?), 2+ Garden Warbler, 1(H) Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Red Kite N, 1 Common Buzzard, a pair of Gadwall, 2 Shelduck E, 1 Egyptian Goose W, 2 House Martin, 3 Barn Swallow and a Sparrowhawk were noted.

Butterflies seen include several Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus on Staines Moor and 2 Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria on Stanwell Moor.

Male Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus


  1. Cracking shots Dinger of a tricky species to photograph, you git!

  2. Your killing me with those Hobby photos, you really are, made me feel home sick! one of the highlights of an English spring day. Probably the best photos I have ever seen of that species. Truly jealous!

    1. Coming from somebody who has spent so many hours in the field studying these birds, that is very high praise indeed! It was an encounter I'll never forget.

  3. Worthy of being published in Forsman! Truly amazing.