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by PaulS

Ken’s Latest Butterfly Report.

July 31, 2012 in Latest News by PaulS

Here’s Ken Orpes latest Butterfly report for Derbyshire.

Hi Everyone,

It looks as though the rest of the summer is going to consist of a combination of the occasional 10 day ‘superheat’ followed by a return to showers and ‘normal’ temperatures, but at least the latest hot spell has certainly helped second brood butterflies to emerge. In lowland Derbyshire, sightings of the ‘blue’ family have just commenced with Common Blues at Drakelow NR (Tom Cockburn), migrating Brown Argus at North Wingfield (Roy Frost) and Drakelow NR (Tom Cockburn), Small Copper at Wirksworth

(Pat & Ken Orpe ) and Findern (Brian & Jean Hallam), and Holly Blues at Cotmanhay (Jim Steele), Hatton (Pat & Ken Orpe ), Chaddesden (Pauline Mycock) and Findern (Brian & Jean Hallam). Also seen recently were fresh Peacock butterflies at Hopton (Maggie Campbell) and Drakelow NR (Tom Cockburn). Further north in the Peak District, a second brood Wall Brown was noted in Monsal Dale by Sandra Douglas on the 28th July 2012, so let’s hope that this species recovers some of its status within the County. Unfortunately, the Brown Argus in the Peak District is still in very low numbers with the highest count of 33 on the 23rd July 2012 coming from the Long Dale/Grattan Dale areas (Robert & Margaret Davies), where also present were reasonable numbers of up to 50 Dark Green Fritillary butterflies (also seen by Charles Palmer on the 22nd July 2012). The most remarkable sighting for this species was on the 24th July 2012 when Martin Hall was about to enter the main shopping mall in Derby when he noticed a DGF on flowers outside the main entrance. (Hm, I must think about going there more often!!).

Moving on to the ‘Brown’ family, the Ringlet has appeared in good numbers on the transect in Millers Dale Quarry NR ( Peter Faulkner & Rol Hawksworth), and it has also been noted in the far N W of the County at Whaley Bridge (Angie & Alan Seymour).After a very slow start, the Gatekeeper is now about at its peak numbers with over 100 noted at Woodside NR, Shipley (Max & Christine Maughan).

Of particular interest with this species is the occurrence of individuals seen without any ‘eyes’ on the lower wings – this has been noted at the Jim Mart NR (Nikki Mahadevan) and also at Whaley Bridge

(Angie & Alan Seymour).

The Essex Skipper has now become fairly widespread in the south of the County with records from Long Eaton Railway Sidings, Foston, Breadsall Cutting, Stanton Ironworks, Drakelow NR, Gresley Wood, Findern, West Hallam Tip and Aston Brickyards. Any sightings for this species from the Peak District would be appreciated as it is, like the Ringlet, poised to become resident there. I have attached a photo of the underside of the tips of the antennae of this species, which are glossy black as opposed to brown in the case of the Small Skipper, (photo kindly provided by Christine Maughan).

The summer hairstreaks are still very much at a low level with observers noting only singletons, with a maximum of 4, of both the Purple Hairstreak and also the White Letter Hairstreak. The former species has been seen at Kedleston Park (John Barker), Allestree Park (Colin Bowler), Chatsworth Park (Roy Frost) and Fernilee Reservoir (Frank Bell). Mike Williams noted further individuals at Mercia Marina near to Findern recently when some were seen inspecting the buds of ash trees, perhaps for either chemicals or honeydew because the leaves of their larval foodplant (oak) had been washed clean by heavy showers. Meanwhile, the White Letter Hairstreak is faring no better with many known sites failing to show this species so far – records to date only coming from Baslow (Roy Frost), Mackworth Castle (Nick Brown), and in the garden of Peter Faulkner in Two Dales, near to Darley Dale. Fortunately, most of the recorders who turned up at Chapel Street Car Park, Derby on the 21st/22nd July 2012 managed to see this rare species, some for the very first time in their lives, so thanks to the 40 or so people who came over the 2 mornings. In this connection, I have produced a register of sites within the County where this BAP species has been seen during the last 15 years, so if you would like a copy (in Excel), then please send me an email and I will send one to you. Any help in confirming or not that the species is still present at these sites would be greatly appreciated.

Another positive from the recent spell of hot and sunny weather was the recording of a few Painted Lady butterflies together with a singleton Clouded Yellow. This latter species was noted by Malcolm Giles in his garden at Botany Bay , near to Linton, whist the Painted Lady sightings came from Duffield

( Mick Ball ), Mickleover (Simon Beavis), Kedleston (John Barker), West Hallam (Martin Hall) and also at Shirland where Nikki Mahadevan saw 2 on the buddleias in her garden.  

Finally, just a reminder that the Big Butterfly Count continues until Sunday 5th August 2012 so please make every effort to participate and put Derbyshire firmly ‘on the map’!!! Many thanks to those of you who have already contributed to the project. Details are at (www.bigbutterflycount.org)


Ken Orpe


Don’t forget to contact Ken with your sightings.

[email protected]

Derbyshire Biodiversity News

July 31, 2012 in Misc by Jim Steele

This is the latest from DCC.



Notts sightings for Sun 29th Jul (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

July 30, 2012 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Rufford Colliery - 1 Common Redstart [male], 1 Common Sandpiper.
  • Radford - Red Kite [Southey Street - high in Lime Trees, flying aggressively at corvid].
  • Attenborough Nature Reserve - Tween Pond: Yellow-Legged Gull, Green Sandpiper.

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Trip to Wykeham/Blacktoft Sands 11 August

July 30, 2012 in Misc by Jim Steele

Last call!

Anyone else interested who hasn’t already let me know, please do so quickly by PM.






Anyone interested in car sharing for a long day out to either Wykeham Raptor Watchpoint near Scarborough or, if the weather isn’t good enough, to RSPB Blacktoft Sands – or if we are really keen, both!? This is just between friends and not an organised EVW event of any kind. Share the fuel costs.

Saturday, August 11th.


Fetch The Gun !

July 29, 2012 in Photo Posts, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

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Aye Aye Skipper

July 29, 2012 in Photo Posts, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

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by PaulS

A Walk With Paul & Allison. A Canal Canter.

July 29, 2012 in Local Walks With Paul & Allison by PaulS

As you all know we have a tremendous trail in our area. The Erewash Valley Trail Stretches from one end of the valley to the other and uses both the Erewash Canal and the old Nottingham Canal to good effect. This walk takes in a steady five mile of the trail starting from The Riverside Retail Park in Ilkeston.

Park opposite the retail park on The Ropewalk and turn left onto Station Road. Look for the steps on the left heading down to the Erewash Canal.

Once down to the canal turn left and enjoy the level surfaced path.

There’s lots of wildlife to enjoy as you wander down the canal. Coots, Moorhens, Mallards, Dragonflies and even Grass Snakes can be seen along here.

You’ll pass plenty of locks on the walk. This one is Potter’s Lock.There are some lovely species rich banks to the canal as you wander along.

Continue along the canal until you reach the Gallows Inn pub.

Turn left onto the road here and walk down towards Furnace Road. Cross Furnace Road and look for the footpath sign heading towards the railway line.

Head up the path and cross the railway bridge. Sorry Colin, no trains today!!

Once over the bridge cross the metalled track and head up to the Nottingham Canal.

When you reach the old canal turn left and continue down the Erewash Valley Trail.

Did you remember to bring your pond dipping kit?

There’s little water in the canal along this section but there are some interesting features that remind us we are on an old canal such as these old locks.

There’s still lots of wildlife around. Dragon and Damselflies, Grey Herons and even Turtles can be seen along here. There’s some excellent interpretation boards to let you know what might be around.

They did use some dodgy photographers though ;)

Once past a car park on the right the canal fills with water and you get some wonderful views.

This is the junction with Robinettes Arm.

Continue left along the canal passing several wooden bridges and crossing a metalled track.

This is the section of canal behind the old ski slope.

Carry on along the canal and then drop down to Cossal Industrial Estate. Cross the Bridge over the road and rejoin the canal.

The stark of the industrial estate is soon forgotten with views like this.

Follow the canal, crossing the Awsworth bypass until you reach Newtons Lane.

Head down Newtons Lane until you reach one of the worlds great rivers, The Erewash.

Take to path at the side of the river and head towards the viaduct. Look out for Banded Demoiselle in the summer and over-wintering waders later in the year. Once at the viaduct take the small path towards the train bridge.

Cross the bridge and turned left on a good path and follow this back to the erewash Canal.

All that is required now is to follow the canal all the way back to where you joined it, just passed the retail park. look out for the steps just after the road bridge, go up them and you’re back on Station Road. Walk down to The Ropewalk and back to the start.

This is a very easy walk with virtually no uphills. It’ll take a couple of hours at a steady pace or as long as you like at your pace. Just get out there and enjoy what’s on offer in our beautiful valley!!

Notts sightings for Sat 28th Jul (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

July 29, 2012 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Besthorpe NWT - North: 1 Turtle Dove. South: 8 Little Egret, 1 Dunlin, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Turtle Dove.
  • Collingham Pits - 3 Green Sandpiper.
  • Newark - 5 Common Kestrel, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Bullfinch.

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Notts sightings for Fri 27th Jul (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

July 29, 2012 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Center Parcs - 2 Goldcrest, 30+ Mistle Thrush, 3 Eurasian Jay, 3 Common Pheasant [female], 1 Eurasian Nuthatch, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Green Woodpecker, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Treecreeper, 3 Stock Dove, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Greenfinch, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Wren.
  • Gringley Carr - Common Quail.

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Something Blue

July 29, 2012 in Read Posts, Sightings, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

Holly Blue

Not much to see today, but this Holly Blue pic. more than compensated for the short day-list and it was nice to see a few birds albeit the more common species.

Bennerley. 4 Grey Heron, Buzzard, Lapwing, 30 Black-headed Gull, 2 Green Woodpecker, 23 Swallow, 3 Sand Martin, 30 Goldfinch. Butterflies. Small White, Holly Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet. Damselflies. Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Darter. Woodside. Grey Heron, 2 Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, 12 Swallow, Chiffchaff. Butterflies. Small Skipper, Large White, Small White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet. Plus. Latticed Heath Moth.