Lovely day with plenty of butterflies and birds, and some ‘new’ dragonflies on the scene. Meadow browns, ringlets, small heath, common blues, large skipper and a single speckled wood all out. Emperor dragonly and black-tailed skimmer and hundreds of blue and blue-tailed damsels. Whitethroat, willow warbler, chiffchaff, garden warbler, reed bunting all still singing, and I heard a late brood of great tits calling from within an old metal post! Buzzards soaring, a green woodpecker calling and a grey partridge flushed at my feet. A single bloom of pyramidal orchid has put in an appearance again – rare plant in these parts. Jim.
Warm but a little high cloud. Orange tips, peacock and a speckled wood butterfly. Still no dingy skipper. Great spotted woodpecker on a power line post, gadwall and little grebe on the pools, and willow warbler, chiffchaff and at least three reed warblers singing. Spring is here! Jim
Beautiful Spring day. Willow warblers singing, as were the odd chiffchaff, blackcap and my first whitethroat of the season. Two good views of green woodpecker, raven ‘cronking’ overhead, buzzards and kestrels. Lots of very large bees that I still can’t identify and several species of butterfly – peacock, small tortoiseshell, green-veined white, orange tip and a stunning, pristine brimstone.
Called in at the Hex Pools where there was the usual Spring gathering of six gadwall, a little grebe and an unusual visitor in the form of an oystercatcher. I looked up and there were too early hobby soaring and sweeping about. Wonderful. Jim
Still and quite warm. Blackbirds singing, also chaffinch and greenfinch, and an early reed bunting singing out its relentless monotony. Great spotted woodpecker bouncing along above the housing. Spring is surely in the air! Jim
A few common blue, speckled woods and small whites still about. Southern hawkers at eye level hovering were amazing – one was pre-occupied eating a fly and I managed to get a pic with the mobile phone camera. Gadwalls, tufty and little grebe on the pools. Two swifts going South – getting late. Lots of swallows, house martins and a single sand martin. Bullfinch. Two, juvenile chiffchaff calling.Jim
Over the last few days. Great crested grebe with a youngster not very old on Swan Lake. Bullfinches. Green woodpecker. Whitethroat in a bush! The odd painted lady, a late large skipper, essex skipper (small colony at the Hex Pools), brown hawker, a couple of southern hawkers, and a single migrant hawker – much less common this year. A ruddy darter landed on my hand (honest!) near the Hex Pools but I didn’t quite manage a picture, but I did catch it on the ground. On the buddleia bush in the garden at Shipley View all at the same time I saw painted lady, peacock, large and small white and several small tortoiseshell – and some stunning, pristine red admirals. Jim
A few small coppers makes up a little for the lack of them in Spring, but no brown argus that I could find. Purple hairstreak at Shipley Hill. One or two holly blues and painted ladies (see pic). Brown hawker, migrant hawker and southern hawker (see pic) all encountered of late. A family of ravens over Shipley.
At Shipley Hill searching the oaks revealed two, quick views of purple hairtreak, whilst a holly blue flitted by. Lots of gatekeepers, faded meadow brown and large whites. Peacocks, too. A stock dove was ‘singing’ close by and a garden warbler was seen briefly. My first robins of the new ‘season’ singing. Overhead a pair of very vocal raven were ‘barrel-rolling’ and later were joined by four more – doubtless a family party.
At the Hex Pools off Shipley View were plenty of common blue butterflies and a few small and at least one essex skipper. Common darter and a new species for myself at this location – a ruddy darter. Little grebe on the pools and a coot with a young chick and another first for me – a tufted duck with a small duckling proved breeding. Common buzzard in the distance and a green woodpecker called. Pair of bullfinch.