Cromwell Bottom NR

A very brief visit to Cromwell Bottom NR near Brighouse resulted in a few bird species seen, a pair of Goldcrest seen a displaying with the male seen with the crown raised. At the bird feeders were Blackbird, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Dunnock, Great Tit, Long tailed Tit, Stock Dove and a very friendly Robin.

White tailed lapwing

Week 42 saw me back with the birds and a long staying rarity in the form of a White tailed Lapwing was seen, with difficulty, at Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve. This birds breed on inland marshes in Iraq, Iran and southern Russia with the Russian birds migrating to the Indian subcontient, Middle East and North east Africa, so a very rare bird for the UK this being the 8th for the UK but the 1st for Yorkshire. Other birds around the WT Lapwing were, Dunlin, Redshank, Northern Lapwing, Black tailed Godwit, Ruff and Spotted Redshank. There were Marsh Harriers over the reed and Water Rail skulking along the bottom of the reeds, Teal, Wigeon, Coot and Moorhens too. We also found a few Common Darter Dragonflies on the approach to the hide when we were leaving.

We then moved onto Adwick Washlands where we picked up a single Grey Phalarope close into the path area, a great opportunity to see my 2nd Grey Phalarope close to. Other birds were Bullflinch, Chaffinch, Spotted Redshank, Black headed Gulls, Wigeon, Gadwall and Teals.

After Adwick we moved on to Old Moor mainly for the reported Caspian Gull, which we didn’t see. we did however find some Common Snipe along with a single Jack Snipe, from the reedbed hide. At the new lookout hide, Common Gulls, Herring Gulls, Lesser Black backed Gulls, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard. A single Common Darter was found around the pool area. Around the feeders were Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Chaffinch and Woodpigeon

Birds for the Day : Blackbird, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Bullflinch, Canada Goose, Crow, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch, Collard Dove, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Dunlin, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Grey Phalarope, Herring Gull, Jack Snipe, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little Egret, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Redshank, Robin, Ruff, Shoveler, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Spotted Redshank, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Tufted Duck, Water Rail, WHITE TAILED LAPWING, Wigeon, Woodpigeon

White Tailed Lapwing

Grey Phalarope

Ponds Visit

Been a couple of week since my last outing so it was overdue, the weather wasn’t up to scratch overcast with a glimpse of the sun on occasions, so I got the change and here I was. A Southern Hawker was over patrolling the first pond I came to, around the edges were various hoverfly species namely, Helophilus pendulus, Episyrphus balteatus, Eristalis tenax, but i also caught sight of Sphaerophoria scripta, Myathropa florea also a new one for me in the form of Platycheirus granditarsus, along with these I also came across a Conops quadrifasciatus Fly.

Moving around I picked up on a few Emerald Damselflies mainly males hanging around in the long grasses, a few craneflies were also seen mainly Tipula oleracea. Surprisingly I also found a single Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar hanging out on the ragwort, but I also found a new moth species in the form of a Blood Vein Moth.

Checking out the Blackberry bushes Common Green and Spiked Shieldbugs were located. Very few butterflies about now apart from the single Gatekeepers.

Spiked Shieldbug

Pond Visit

A quick dash to the ponds to find out what was flying resulted in me finding Large White and Meadow Brown butterflies along with a Eristalis nemorum Hoverfly and a few Helophilus pendulus Hoverflies.

The main reason for my visit was for Dragonflies, a single Blue tailed Damselfly and a few Emerald Damselflies were the first ones I came across. Brown Hawker were still about but the main one I was looking for I found on one of the smaller ponds a Southern Hawker a definite sighting this time, after I thought I’d seen one last year it was very much welcome, plus I did manage to get a few photos to boot. Other highlights were a few Common Darters alas no Ruddy Darter, no matter how much I tried to turn Common into Ruddy, and a surprise lone Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Southern Hawker

Dragonfly Week

Since it was Dragonfly Week (22nd) and the sun was shining it would be rude not to have a re-visit to the local ponds again. Arriving at about 10am it was already hot, first dragonflies seen were a pair of Common Darter in the wheel position, on the same pond were Brown Hawker and Emperor. The larger pond had Four-spotted Chasers with more Emperors along with a few Common Darters. damselflies around the pools were Azure, Common Blues, Blue tailed and Emeralds. I also found a first for me and what I believe to be Common Darter Exuvia.

Other highlights included Butterflies…my first Gatekeepers of the year, Small Heath, Small and Large Skippers, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large and Small Whites along with Green veined Whites

Moths…there was a noticeable amount of Shaded Broad Bar moths about

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Emperor Dragonfly
Common Darter Exuvia

Dragonfly Week

Dragonfly week runs from the 17th July to the 25th July get out there and enjoy I did venturing down to the local ponds where I saw Four Spotted Chasers, Brown Hawkers, Emperor Dragonflies, Broad Bodied Chaser, Common Darters, Common Blue Damselflies, Azure Damselflies, Blue tailed Damselflies and Emerald Damselflies.

Here’s a short video of that time spent at my local area ponds PRESS

Broad Bodied Chaser
Common Darter

Target Tour

The planned itinerary for today was to hit three species, one a butterfly species (Marbled White, easy but nice), two a dragonfly species (Black tailed Skimmer, for the Yorkshire list and decent photos), and three a bird (Black browed Albatross, lifer).

Started at Kiplingcotes CP on the way thru to the coast to find Marbled White Butterflies, been here the previous year so I knew the layout. Marbled White were everywhere number one in the bag, I enjoyed a good 90mins here picking up other things on the wing namely, Brimstone, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Green veined White, Large Skipper, Large White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Heath, Small Skipper and Small Tortoiseshell (12 species of Butterfly). I found only one moth species, that being a Six spot Burnet Moth. Bird species I noted were Crow, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, Wren and Yellowhammer.

I was then off to my next stop with the butterfly species under the belt it was now the turn of the Dragonfly. Seamer Tip Pools near to Scarborough was to be the hunting ground, a place I haven’t had the pleasure of, by all accounts a good site for various Dragonfly species. On arrival I started off around the small pool and was struggling to find the target species, I had picked up Brown Hawker, Four Spotted Chaser, Common Darter and Ruddy Darter along with various Damselfly species (Azure, Common Blue, Blue tailed). I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to find this next target species, when all of a sudden I caught sight of a blue body low over the water, was it a Broad Bodied Chaser? no it wasn’t this defiantly had a black tip to the body. I watched it settle out of sight, so I made my way over slowly and found it settled on the ground, a Male Black tailed Skimmer, that will do nicely. I stayed with it for about 20mins watching it, flying off and settling back to the same place, a great opportunity on which I ended up taking plenty of photos.

After this great encounter I decided on looking around the larger pool where I found quite a few Black tailed Skimmers, mainly lining the pathways, there was also a few Damselfly species, mainly ones I had seen around the small pool.

So two target species in the bag now for number three which was to be out at Bempton Cliffs, this one could be difficult Black browed Albatross (BBA) here I come. On arrival at Bempton I quickly checked out the notice board the BBA hadn’t been seen since 12:45, it was now 16:00 hrs.. blast. Anyway I gave it a good 2 1\2 hrs but the BBA didn’t show but there plenty of seabirds to see and take photos of these being Gannets, Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Herring Gulls, Kittiwake, Linnet, Tree Sparrow to name a few.

My day was over it ended with seeing lots of nature but alas only two of the three targets species being seen, until next time.

Butterfly Species :- Brimstone, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Green veined White, Large Skipper, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Heath, Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, (12)

Dragonflies :- Azure Damselfly, Black tailed Skimmer, Blue tailed Damselfly, Brown Hawker, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Darter, Four Spotted Chaser, Ruddy Darter (8)

Birds :- Crow, Chaffinch, Coot, Fulmar, Gannet, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, House Martin, Jackdaw, Kittiwake, Linnet, Mallard, Puffin, Razorbill, Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Swallow, Swift, Tree Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer (22)

Video of the Day can be seen HERE

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Marbled White
Black tailed Skimmer

New Moth

Another sunny day and another visit down to the ponds, I was wondering as I entered the area whether Emerald Damselflies would be out as they now appearing in Yorkshire. I stuck to my usual route working my way thru the bramble patch down to the first pond, in doing so I picked up on the usual blue damselflies, Common Blue, Blue tailed and Azure no Reds this time. Some hoverflies were hanging out on the bramble leaves, Eupeodes sp. Eristalis sp, lots of Marmalade Hoverflies about (Episyrphus balteatus) so wondering if we’ve had a few migrants come in. Nothing stirring at the first pond so made my way to the lower larger one where again were usual Blue Damselflies along with a couple of Four Spotted Chasers and Emperor Dragonflies, nowt new on the Odanata front.

I decided on walking around the pond and disturbed a Straw Dot Moth and then a slightly larger moth which turned out to be a Blackneck Moth, a Lifer a new Moth Species, both difficult to get photos of, also of note were a lot of Common Red Soldier Beetles around the pond, with also a fly threw Brimstone Butterfly

Down again o the lower pond but along the other path where Small Heath, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Small Skipper Butterflies were seen. More hoverflies around this area too with Chrysotoxum festivum and Scaeva pyrastri being of note, a few Bee species, of which I find difficult to ID, and then a very different damselfly flight but one of which I know Emerald Damselfly, female, which ended up resting on a grass stem nearby and then I soon picked out another, good to see these so can’t have been long on the wing and a nice one to finish my visit on, until next time.

Birds Noted :- Blackcap, Buzzard, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Magpie, Moorhen, Song Thrush, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon

Butterflies :- Brimstone, Ringlet, Small Heath, Small Skipper

Dragonflies :- Azure Damselfly, Blue tailed Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Four Spotted Chaser

Emerald Damselfly

Blackneck Moth

Warton Crag

I found myself over in Cumbria (Kendall) on a business trip so on the way back home I decided on a quick visit at Warton Cragg in the vain hope of some Butterflies. Arriving at 2pm and parking at the Old Brewery car park I made my way up the steep incline out of the car park and onto the top of Warton Crag.

There didn’t appear to be much activity under the cool cloudy conditions today, thankfully it was dry. Proceeding along the crag I eventually kicked up a Grayling Butterfly, this being the only butterfly I saw along the crag.

Making my way back down I bumped into another guy so pointed out to him the Grayling and then moved onto a grassy area were they were Meadow Brown, Ringlet, a Red Admiral which ended up in a nearby tree. Wasn’t long before the guy caught me back up, as I was taking photos of a nicely placed Meadow Brown, I mentioned what I’d seen of which he went off looking for the Red Admiral. It wasn’t long before he shouted me over has he’d found a pair of Northern Brown Argus, what a bonus. After that I decided it was time for home, the weather wasn’t looking any better.

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Meadow Brown
Northern Brown Argus

Ponds Visit

Back at the local ponds maybe to catch up on some new Odanata species or catch a photo of the Emperor Dragonfly. I had a quick look around the bottom small pond first seeing a couple of Four Spotted Chasers along with a few Azure Damselflies. Made my way then up to the larger pond where more Four Spotted Chasers were about along with a couple of Emperor Dragonflies were cruising the pond. Damselflies at the large pond were Large Red, Blue tailed and Common Blue Damselflies.

Butterflies about were Large Skipper (first of the year)., Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Speckled Wood and Small Heath

Other highlights were a Brown China mark Moth and a Thick thighed Flower Beetle

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Four Spotted Chaser