Monday, 11 July 2011

July 10th and 11th

My early morning Sunday walk turned into a mid-morning one accompanied by my wife. It was a beautiful morning and most of the walk was spent looking for butterflies, which seemed a bit thin on the ground to start with but as the walk progressed so did the number of butterflies. Gatekeepers are now out in force with maybe slightly fewer Meadow Browns. In the edge of the wood a small flock of LONG TAILED TITS caught my attention as I've struggled to find them recently. Moving through the wood I watched a few Meadow Browns, as I did so a Brown Hawker flew up from the small pond, my first this year.
Meadow Brown

Speckled Wood

White Admiral

With almost no more butterflies until we reached the other end of the wood (half a mile or so), it was nice to come across a bramble that seemed to be attracting a few different species, 2 White Admirals glided around and a Speckled Wood settled several times both Small and Green Veined White appeared as did one Silver Washed Fritillary, which declined to take a rest despite coming and going 4 or 5 times. A little higher up a small butterfly flew strongly through a gap but remained unidentified and at least 3 Beautiful Demoiselles stayed about 15 ft up in a birch.
We moved on after about 10mins and added Red Admiral and Small Skipper, before Bec spotted a small Grass Snake, which I was too slow to see!
Red Admiral

 Walking round the fields, Bec commented on how much SKYLARK song there was, they seem to have had a good season here. The highlight of the day for me came as we neared the stream, my first Marbled White for the patch flew passed about 10ft away, my 25th species at Sissinghurst and amazingly 24th this year. Unfortunately it didn't stop, hopefully there will be more. Whilst in the fields I could hear REED BUNTING and a KESTREL hunted for a short time, otherwise bird activity remained on the low side, we found Holly Blue, Large White and a single Comma before we got home.
Another Sunrise!!

This morning was one of those early starts for moths but a coolish night meant that numbers were low, the highlight being Small Scallop, new for the year.
I was being watched

Birding by 5am, it was another morning that made you feel good! WRENS were singing well in the car park and both GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS weren't far away, I tried hard to get some bird pics today with lots waiting in different spots but it proved fruitless so pictures around the castle are my substitutes, so to speak!

A Turtle Dove flew over the veg. garden and could be heard purring somewhere near the offices, 2 SWIFTS also went over there, looking as if they were on a mission. A SPOT. FLY. just played a brief role in todays proceedings and I just caught sight of a TREECREEPER disappearing around one of the remaining Poplars. The KINGFISHER was sitting by the lake, although I only saw it as it darted away, otherwise the lake was fairly quiet, 2 MISTLE THRUSHES preened in the top of an Oak by the lake and someone had left a portaloo in the meadow!!!!
Despite it being so nice, or maybe because it was so nice, the hedgerows were quiet, the best bird here was a GOLDCREST. YELLOWHAMMER and REED BUNTING were ever present, both singing, either from a hedge or from the top of the wheat.
At work I finally got a couple of bird photos!!

Green Woodies at work


Warren Baker said...

Mega post Alan!

Ive been doing the same as you today, mostly butterflies, as you say the birds are having a rest at the moment, moulting quietly somewhere no doubt :-)

Greenie said...

Alan ,
Great read and pictures .
Well done with the butterflies .
Nice couple of GW shots at the end .

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Warren, Thanks, I'm quite enjoying the butterflies, I've always made a casual note of them but it's nice to take a bit more notice. Overnight rain forecast could it drop in an early migrant? :-)

Hi Greenie, Thanks, I'm hoping we might find another butterfly species or two here but I don't think there is scope for many more.
I'm glad the GW's gave me a chance to get some sort of shot.