Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Bird listing in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of the least documented countries for birds in general but also on the Audubon Society's e-Bird web site.

Here are the top 10 listers in the country with the latest additions to their lists as per the e-Bird web site.

  1. Gary Bletsch - 232 (Short-toed eagle)
  2. Robert Tovey - 228 (Purple swamphen)
  3. Clive Temple - 224 (Black-eared wheatear)
  4. Olivier Langrand - 155 (Eurasian collared dove)
  5. Andrew Slater - 92 (Little bittern)
  6. Graham Langley - 81 (Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse)
  7. Chris Goulart - 66 (Eurasian jackdaw)
  8. Brad Macurda - 50 (Sand martin)
  9. Louis Warren - 45 (White-spectacled bulbul)
  10. Gary Santolo - 41 (African silverbill)

As you can see with only three birders on over 200 species there is plenty of scope for improvement. So if you are ever in Saudi, please contribute to the local birding knowledge by adding your sightings to e-Bird.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Species a day

Another three for the 'species a day' list.

Honey bee, Surrey, England

Common blue damselfly, Surrey, England

Large red damselfly, Surrey, England

Species a day

Another five for the 'species a day' list. That's 60 species in 155 days, 39% of the target.

Herring gull, London, England

14 Spot ladybird, Surrey, England

Asian harlequin, Surrey, England

Green dock beetle, Surrey, England

Nettle weevil, Surrey, England

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Species a day

Another five for the 'species a day' list. That's 60 species in 155 days, 39% of the target.

Poplar hawk moth, Surrey, England

Azure damselfly, Surrey, England

Mayfly (Ephemera danica), Surrey, England

Helophilus pendulus, Surrey, England

Jet black ant, Surrey, England

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

First damselflies of the summer

I took a bike ride along the Wey Navigation Canal in Surrey yesterday armed with my 100mm Canon macro lens. There were no dragonflies to be seen but there were plenty of mayfly hatching and taking to the air for their one day adult life in the sunshine.

I did however find three species of damselfly. Several handsome male banded demoiselle which were a bit too flighty for photographs. But I did manage to stalk several azure and large red damselfly for photos.

Azure damselfly

Azure damselfly

Large red damselfly

Asian harlequin

The asian harlequin is not a native British ladybird. First found in southern England in 2004 it came over from Holland in imported plants where it had been introduced to control aphids.

It is a highly voracious predator and competes with our native ladybird species for food. I photographed these individuals by the Wey Navigation Canal in Surrey.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Poplar hawkmoth in Surrey, England

I found this impressive hawkmoth resting in reeds by the local canal.The way the hindwings protrude beyond the forewings identifies it as a poplar hawkmoth (Laothoe populi).