A lovely, warm day, and the summer butterflies were out in force at Stanton! Lots and lots of meadow browns, several ringlets, large and small skippers, a large white and two or three common blues still flying. My first brown hawker of the year buzzed me. Willow warblers still singing but it’s a bit subdued now, and a bullfinch called from deep within cover. I took this picture of a common spotted orchid, but it may be a hybrid with marsh orchid – producing what we call a ‘stonker’! Jim
Had a bit of a change from the local patch and headed of the the neighbouring sites of Shipley, Woodside and West Hallam, I hadn’t visited for a while so it was time.
There was a cracking Buzzard in Shipley Wood a real big specimen right there looking at me , on a limb half way up a tree, by the time I got to the camera it was up and heading through the canopy in absolute silence.
I saw four Little Grebe’s on the Shipley View Lagoons and a nice few House Martin but no Gadwall. Butterflies were about, mainly Meadow Browns but a few ringlets as well.
Plenty ot butterflies at Straws Bridge, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, plus Large and Small Skippers. The usual suspects were on thee lake including a single Great Crested Grebe and a Buzzard surveying all from above. A couple of Sedge Warblers were in one of the smaller ponds plus a single Chiffchaff.
Reed Warblers were in the Pewit Carr reed bed, Meadow Browns and Ringlets were on the meadow among the orchids and Chiffchaff and Garden Warbler were singing from the Carr itself, plus a handful of Swifts. So not a bad day at all away from own patch.
A lovely sunny day, but not that many butterflies about, surprisingly. No dingy skipper that I could find (getting late in the season), but several common blues, a couple of small copper, a late orange tip and a meadow brown still ‘inflating’ its wings. The yellowwort plants are about to flower (this is a rarity around these parts) and lots of bladder campion coming into flower. Plenty of bee orchids on the lagoon bank and the common spotted now in full flower. Some highly mobile banded demoiselles scattered around the area and a very accommodating broad-bodied chaser allowed a close approach with my mobile phone camera – although I had to be very patient and creep up very slowly! What a creature!
Just returned from a weekend on Portland blitzing the area’s wildlife. Result was 94 ticks with some still to ID. Pick of the pics below:
Bloody-nosed Beetle, Timarcha tenebricosa, my favourite Chrysomelid. Bumbling around Church Ope
Dwarf Spurge, a tiny plant about 5 – 7 cm high. Found at Church Ope
Common Broomrape, growing in profusion at Chesil Beach. We also found the very similar Ivy Broomrape.
Greater Sea Spurrey, growing among the shingle on Chesil Beach
Hairy-fruited Cornsalad, growing at Church Ope. Distinguished by the shape of its seed pods.
Haresfoot Clover, not a particularly interesting plant but it had been on my want list for a while so I’m putting it in here.
My second favourite moth from the trap: Small Elephant Hawkmoth (Cream Spot Tiger was by far the best). With an L-album Wainscot muscling in on the upper left corner.
Portland Spurge, the 4th Euphorbia of the trip growing at Church Ope.
Sea Clover, growing at Chesil Beach
Small Scabious, distinguished by the black “eyelashes” between the florets. Growing at Church Ope
For comparison, Field Scabious ticked on the way home at Corfe Castle (where I’d stopped for Lulworth Skipper which was a good tick but not a good photo)
Wall Lizard at Church Ope, one of several naturalised colonies around the southern UK
Shrubby Sea Blight, a monstrous plant growing at Chesil Beach and home to the lichen Caloplacha suadae.
A beautiful day and a bit warmer at last!
Woodside still had chiffchaff, willow warbler and whitethroat singing, whilst a green woodpecker rushed past me. Some superb bee orchids in flower, several marsh orchids and common spotteds nearly up, too. Butterflies included my first meadow browns, several common blues and small heath, a single, pristine small copper and large skippers now out in force.
At Shipley View Hex Lagoons another willow warbler singing, distant kestrels soaring and a couple of bullfinches dashed into the tall shrubs. Butterflies here were somewhat similar to Woodside, with common blues, plenty of large skippers, small heath, two meadow browns, two speckled woods (first I’ve seen for a while) and a single, very faded dingy skipper.
A late afternoon and the sun was losing its warmth (well, the bit of it we receive…). Only a few butterflies about. On the lagoons were common blue, small copper and dingy skipper. One the strip were common blue and dingy skipper. I took pics of the dingy and blue (a female) with my mobile phone camera – if you catch them right, as they go to roost, you can get surprisingly close! The dingy was pretending to be a moth with its wings folded back – usually it’s a moth (burnet companion) pretending to be a butterfly, here it’s the other way around! Whitethroats and a willow warbler singing. Some stunning marsh orchids in the edge of the lagoon. Jim