Sunday, 24 July 2011

July 24th

A slightly breezy but nice and sunny, I was out for a long walk this morning, determined to improve on my recent efforts with the camera! 5 REED BUNTINGS were in the entrance lane as were 4 LINNETS and a couple of WHITETHROATS. Up in the car park it was fairly quiet 1 CHIFFCHAFF called and a young GREEN WOODPECKER showed briefly.
Young Green Woodie!

It appeared the breeze was keeping things generally quiet. The SWALLOWS were around the veg garden, today there were 13 birds. Even the fields were quiet and only 1 YELLOWHAMMER sang and there were just the odd snatches of SKYLARK song.


I decided to sit for a while and started counting the butterflies that were starting move up and down the hedges, also a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was hovering around some honeysuckle close by.
Humminingbird Hawkmoth

A WREN sat and preened a few feet away and a small party of tits moved along the hedge. Struggling to find things I headed into the woods via the meadow, as I walked the edge of the meadow a YELLOW WAGTAIL (102) called several times as it flew south east, after just another half a dozen paces a GREY WAGTAIL also flew over, heading along the stream. By this time my butterfly list was doing quite well with 10 species recorded including another Purple Hairstreak, Essex Skipper and Brown Argus and the number of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were well into double figures. A short stop by a couple of small ponds added Azure Damselfly, Common Darter and Brown Hawker to the day list.


Great Tit

Brown Argus

Once in the wood, I headed to the spot where I'd seen the Silver Washed Fritillaries, unfortunately there was no sign today but I added Green Veined White, Comma and another Brown Hawker.
 Moving on I came to one of my favourite clearings, the one where there is never anything there when I do the guided walks! today though it was busy, there were 3 Purple Hairstreaks in the first Oak I came to plus a single Red Admiral on the bird front there were 2 SPOT. FLYS, MARSH TIT, COAL TIT, 2 TREECREEPERS, 3 NUTHATCHES and numerous BLUE and GREAT TITS, this kept me occupied for ages!
Marsh Tit
Red Admiral (this one was in my garden when I got back)

I didn't really add much else on the walk apart from several Large Red Damselflies and loads of Azures.
I think female Common Darter

Random Bee!

Large Red Damselfly

Ruddy Darter

The butterfly totals were quite surprising and these are probably pretty conservative, Gatekeeper 41, Meadow Brown 26, Speckled Wood 9, Large White 8, Purple Hairstreak 8, Small Skipper 6, Green Veined White 5, Large Skipper 3, Essex Skipper 2, Comma 2, Ringlet 2, Small White 2, Brown Argus 2, Red Admiral 1 and Peacock 1. With 7 different Dragons and Damsels, I was more than pleased with the mornings work! This afternoon I did another walk with Bec and added SEDGE WARBLER, SPARROWHAWK and GREY HERON to the bird list plus probably 50 assorted gulls BLACK HEADED, HERRING and LESSER BLACK BACKED.


Warren Baker said...

I found it a bit quiet early on too Alan. Nice addition to the year list with the Yellow Wagtail, I dont think i'll be catching you now :-)

It was a good butterfly day here too, with some Odenata chipping in.

Greenie said...

Alan ,
Well you certainly got the camera into overdrive . Really like the Yellowhammer shots .
As I said to Warren , the sun certainly brought the butterflies out , and 15 species is very good going .
Would agree with your female Com.Darter ID and would say the bee was one of the Cuckoo species with those black/white bands on the abdomen .

Phil and Mandy said...

That Hummingbird Moth shot is lovely Alan.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Warren, Thanks, still a long way to go yet and only a couple in it :-)

Hi Greenie, Thanks, I was really enjoying the counting and picking up a few other bits on my way round. Thanks for the ID's, I might try to add Bees to the things I'm learning but not sure if my little brain will take it!!

Hi Phil and Mandy, Thanks, I wasn't sure if I'd got it at all really, as I was being a bit hesitant clicking the shutter and it kept moving from flower to flower like they do :-)