Stanton 16.07.2015

July 18, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

A quick trip to Stanton to look for Summer butterflies. Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Small Skipper and a single Essex Skipper. Large Whites – settled, this is a stunning butterfly viewed close up. Brown Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies. I heard a Whitethroat and a Bullfinch, but the birds are now much quieter. Some good plants to look for – if you want any information just get in touch. Wild Parsnip (toxic sap) is a large, yellow-flowered umbellifer and is growing in profusion at the lagoons. Also on the lagoons a patch of Betony which whilst not rare is not found much around here. On the ‘strip’ there is lots of Evening Primrose, and a few locally rare plants – a patch of Greater Knapweed, Yellow-wort (great Latin name: Blackstonia perfoliata) and a single plant of the impressive Pyramidal Orchid with a triple bloom. Jim


Greater Knapweed


Pyramidal Orchid

Away From The Patch

June 28, 2015 in Photo Posts, Read Posts, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley


Ringlet & Common Blue

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.






Large Skipper




Black-headed Gulls


Great Crested Grebe

Shipley 22/07/2014

July 23, 2014 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

More beautiful weather. Gatekeepers everywhere, whilst Meadow Browns are on the way down and only a few, very faded Ringlet. Lots of pristine Peacocks now on the Buddlia bushes and good to see numbers of Small Tortoiseshell. Second generation Common Blues numbered four and two Small Heath were probably second gen. too in the ‘butterfly box’ at Woodside. Eight Speckled Woods in one spot. Small/Essex Skipper everywhere in grassland and two Large Skipper hanging on. A single Holly Blue near Shipley Lake.

I couldn’t find any Purple Hairstreak at Shipley Hill but I did see my first Migrant Hawker dragonfly of the season there. Common Darter, Brown Hakwer and Common Blue Damselfly in good numbers.

Green Woodpeckers two off and a glimpse of a Garden Warbler pleasing at this time of the Summer. Meadow Pipit ‘alarm calling’ near Shipley Hill and Stock Dove ‘singing’ in the woodland there. A Reed Warbler was still singing at Parker’s Marsh (near the Hex Pools) whilst nearby a late burst of song from a Willow Warbler was unexpected. A family party of Long-tailed Tits as always a pleasure to behold. Newly hatched baby Coot on the Hex Pools. Buzzards soaring over Mapperley.


Shipley View Hex Lagoons 5/7/2014

July 6, 2014 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Lovely day again later on. At last, my first Gatekeepers of the season – four in total. Lots of Ringlets and Meadow Browns. A few Large Skippers looking quite tatty now but dozens of ‘Smessex’ (Small/Essex) Skippers – I checked a group in one spot by the lagoons and they were all Essex. Plenty of Common Blue Damselflies and a couple of Brown Hawkers were hawking at speed. Whitethroat and Chiffchaff still singing and a Kestrel soaring. Little Grebe on the pools. Somewhat unexpectedly a Raven calling.

Stanton and Woodside 10/6/2014

June 10, 2014 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Sunny, breezy day but a few butterflies about.


On the lagoons a pristine Small Tortoiseshell, a few Common Blues, Small Heath and Meadow Browns. My first Emperor Dragonfly – a female – and a group of Banded Demoiselle sheltering by some bushes. Reed Warbler, Whitethroat and Reed Bunting singing. Buzzard over.

On the Strip more Small Heath, Common Blues, Meadow Browns and a very faded Brown Argus. Four-spotted Chaser. Two, young Great Spotted Woodpecker. Several plants of the locally rare Yellow-wort about to flower.

Shipley Woodside NR:

At the Butterfly Box. Lots of Small Heath, a few Common Blue, 7 Large Skipper, 2 pristine Speckled Wood, more Yellow-wort plants and some cracking Bee Orchids in full flower – wonderful.

Hex Pools and Woodside 14/08/2012

August 14, 2012 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Lovely day for a walk around the Pools. Several ‘Smessex Skipper’ (I’m not checking every one!), and a very vocal Green Woodpecker and a pair of colourful Jays dipped through. Comma. Holly Blue.

At Parker’s Bridge lots of Green-veined Whites, Small Copper, Brown Hawkers and a Southern Hawker but no sign of Dave’s Ruddy Darter.

Around Woodside a Migrant Hawker, lots more Brown Hawkers, an Emperor, a second brood Brown Argus at the butterfly site, several Peacocks, Small Copper,  Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, two Speckled Wood and lots more Smessex Skipper and six Holly Blue – another of my favourites; I really like the way they fly! A Whitethroat and a Reed Bunting. A family party of Kestrel playing about and a couple of Buzzard soaring. More interesting plants on the slope above the bottom marsh (adjacent to the butterfly area) – Agrimony and Fennel in flower.

A late and very tatty Ringlet on my way back near Shipley View and when almost home in a neighbour’s garden another Holly Blue, Small Skipper, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown – why bother going far!


Damsels and Flutterbys at Bennerley

August 5, 2012 in Latest Patch Sightings by ChrisLuv

Finally a chance to get out and about locally, I didn’t have long (it being my wedding anniversary!) so I opted for a quick visit to Bennerley to see what was around. It was very cloudy and my Big Butterfly Count produced one ringlet, though I did later see 2 Small Skipper, several Meadow Browns and a few more Ringlets, as well as a few Green-veined Whites.

There wasn’t much else around, Wood Pigeons seemingly being the only bird species around (I exaggerate slightly) but a Green Woodpecker was heard calling.

Very little life generally, the cases of Burnet moths could be seen on the sedge but the moth itself wasn’t seen til later when two individuals were spotted.

In desperation I headed to the three settling pools, Emerald Damselflies were almost guaranteed here and the hedge under the bridge usually provides some shelter for other species. I was in luck and so spent the next half an hour moving around the pools, camera in hand taking a few snaps. Very enjoyable it was too, I needed to get out – I’ve been working too hard recently.

Avatar of PaulS

by PaulS

Straw’s Bridge & Peewit Carr.

August 4, 2012 in Latest Patch Sightings by PaulS

Not as much rain today as the forecast said so popped down to Straw’s to see what was about.

No white geese at Straw’s any more, they’ve finally been removed. Lot’s of Canada Geese, Mallards, Mutes and Coots. We’re starting to get gulls back gathering together on the lake. Around 20 Black headed and 1 Lesser Black Backed Gull. Still a few Hirundines around with Swallows and Swifts overhead. It was lovely to see the dam fair buzzing with Butterflies. Lots of whites (Mostly Large and Green Veined) and Gatekeepers around along with a few very worn Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Small Skippers. Peewit Carr always seems to deliver with good numbers of the above Butterflies plus a single Peacock and a fair few 6 Spot Burnet Moths.

Good to see plenty of Dragons and Damsels around too. Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter, Southern Hawker, Emperor, Black Tailed Skimmer and Broad Bodied Chaser on the Dragon front. Common Blue, Blue Tailed and Banded Demoiselle holding up the Damselfly end.

A very pleasant couple of hours. Some pics to finish.

Six Spot Burnet.

Peacock underside. Not as dull as they first appear.

Common Darter.

Green Veined White.

Ovipositing Brown Hawker.

A few of photos taken on Sunday.

Purple Loosestrife growing around the little wetland lake at Straw’s Bridge.


Another Common Darter. Crawl through the grass to sneak up on them. Watch out for the mozzies though ;)