Monthly Archives: August 2015

A few Days out Day 4

The final day and it was down to Aston Rowant for butterflies not the planned day which would result in a look trip back to Huddersfield but there were a couple of butterflies I needed to catch up with.

The site was a little tricky to find but I had directions also from a friend who had been the previous week.The site is sited on both sides of the M40 motorway, the M40 splits it, its a steep chalk banking which runs down to the motorway so it’s a little noisy from the traffic, but its a great site.

Chalkhill Blues were everywhere it was hard not to tread on them, with a little looking  and with the help of another couple we were soon on the the Silver spotted Skipper (one of the reasons why I came down), Brown Argus were in good numbers and I also got my first sighting for the year of a small Copper.

A Painted Lady was a nice find along with a smart-looking Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown, Brimstone, Gatekeeper and another lovely find with hard work was the Essex Skippe, but the other butterfly for the day took some finding with Common Blue adding to the confusion but it did show flying past me it gave off a striking blue colour, really standing out and then it landed all but briefly which gave me a chance to get a couple of shots off of the Adonis Blue before it gave flight.

Aston Rowant a great place for butterflies especially the Chalkhill Blue and Silver spotted Skipper, my time was up down south it was time again to head ‘up North’

 

Silver Spotted Skipper

Silver Spotted Skipper Butterfly

A Few Days Out Day 3

The weather got worse on the Friday but brighter again for the Saturday so the plan for today was Rutland Water then Aston Rowant for Butterflies Saturday then back home.

Rutland Water was a wash out it rained most of the time I was there and in the brief times it wasn’t Common Blue Damselflies could be seen darting amongst the bushes. I started the day at the visitor centre from the upstairs which overlooks lagoon 1, here I found a few Little Egret, Common Tern, Mallard, plenty of Coot, Swallow, House and Sand Martins overhead, Shoveler, Crow, Lapwing and Great Crested Grebe. 

I then headed out towards lagoon 3 where most of the interesting waders were, like Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Dunlin etc but someone must have told them I was coming because they were none of them there. I moved on to lagoon 4 here I found an Osprey which eventually took flight when we had a brief break from the rain, plenty of Pied Wagtails were also on lagoon 4 with Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Lesser Black backed Gull, Black headed Gull, and I believe a juvenile Kittiwake, Tufted Duck, Greylag Goose and Teal.

I then took the decision to take a long walk back to Lax Hill were a few more lagoons had been created over the last winter period. Four new lagoons I visited 5,6,7 and 8 with very little to see, the odd Robin, Wren, Cormorant and Buzzard, and what I believed to have been a Raven. I did also manage a to see a couple of brave butterflies Ringlet and Gatekeeper, there was also a few Cinnabar Moth caterpillars amongst the Ragwort

Common Blue Damselfly, Female

Common Blue Damselfly Female

View at Lagoon 6

Rutland Water

A Few Days Out Day 2

Due to the weather turning for the worse I decided on staying around the B&B and investigating the woodland rather than the planned trip to Aston Rowant. Red Kite and Buzzard were following the plough in the nearby field, Swallows were overhead and House Sparrow and Yellowhammer in the hedgerow nearby. In on the woodland ride there was little flying around in the overcast conditions but as always you could rely Ringlet and Meadow Brown braving it. A Magpie Moth gave flight and rested in the nearby grass and started laying eggs before giving flight again.

Further in I was being to find little insect life but the birds had picked up with Coal Tit, Great Tit, Robin and Chaffinch seen and with Hobby going thru overhead , Great Spotted Woodpecker seen and Nuthatch heard. A couple of the many hoverflies ID were Marmalade, Seicomyia silentis and Chrysotoxum bicinctum  and to finish the walk, and nearly stepping on it, a beautiful Painted Lady my first of the year

 

Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

 

Magpie Moth

 Magpie Moth

 

A Few Days Out Day 1

I took a couple of days of work and headed south again for a 3 night stay in the Northants area for some wildlife watching, my base camp was to be a new B&B for me called Laundimer House, Weldon nr Corby, a new farmhouse build at the end of a dirt track with Swallows, Red Kites, Buzzards and a large wood next door I think I have just found a new home, for more info see the B&B tab.

So it was Wednesday the 12th (Day 1) the sun was out to play and my first port of call was to be Barnack Hills and Holes NR which is known for its Orchids and Butterflies and I was turning up for the butterfly side. I arrived at about 9:15am after a 2 hour journey from home, on entering the reserve the first butterfly seen was a hoped for Chalkhill Blue I needn’t have hoped they were everywhere the most common butterfly on site. This being the sighting of Chalkhill Blue I was taken by surprise of the size much larger in flight than the common blue and more of a pascal shade of blue. With careful searching I was also able to find my next quarry of the days away the Brown Argus, smaller than the Chalkhill Blue but about the same size as the Common Blue. Other butterflies on site were in good numbers the Meadow Brown, Ringlet and the Green veined White, there were also Large White on site. Birds seen here were Red Kite, Kestrel and Green Woodpecker, also caught of 6 Spot Burnet Moths and a Shaded Broad-bar Moth.

Chalkhill Blue Butterfly

Chalkhill Blue Butterfly

My second port of call for the day and a new site for me was to be Bedford Perlieus NR…no car park here so it was a make do pull over room for about 3 cars only, parking up then I caught sight of a pair of  Silver washed Fritillarys’ gliding about just in front of the car so I spent some time with these before moving into the reserve. In here there were lots of Silver washed fritillary about, most were now well-worn but there was the odd individual that was still in good condition. With looking I found a few Brown Argus Butterflies along with a couple of Comma, a couple of Speckled Wood, a couple of nice Peacock, Large Skipper, lots of Meadow Brown, Green veined whites, a single White letter Hairstreak, lots of nice Brimstone butterflies as well. Other wildlife included Green Woodpecker and a Fox

Brown Argus Butterfly Brown Argus Butterfly

Siler washed Fritillary

Silver washed Fritillary Butterfly

Day Trip Cumbria

Big day out today, so passport ready as I was going thru Lancashire up in to Cumbria and my first port of call was to be Arnside and Arnside Knott for a few sort after butterflies. Scotch Argus was the butterfly of the day with plenty of them around but very hard to get a photo as they were not settling, other species about in numbers were Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Ringlet, After much walking I came across a well camouflaged butterfly blending well in to the rock it was sat on, it was only because I disturbed it that I was able to see the Grayling. By now I’d walked all the way round so I started another search this time I found a worn Northern Brown Argus, and a better specimen later on, also got to see a Dark green Fritillary in the same location, Small Skippers were also seen as well as a few birds five Common Buzzards went over a Nuthatch was seen along with a Green Woodpecker.

I decided on a visit down to gait Burrows which wasn’t very productive but did add Speckled Wood and Common Blue to the day list and I also got great views of a Common Darter Dragonfly has it kept returning to the same perch which was at my eye line and only about 4 feet away.

My final port of call was down to Leighton Moss and to the Eric Morecambe hide where I managed to get views of the Great White Egret also with the smaller cousin the Little Egret. There was a good group of waders close in to the hide being Common Redshank and Dunlin mainly with a few Black tailed Godwits thrown in, there was also a single Spotted Redshank. Further out were Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtails, Starlings, lapwings, and a Comma Butterfly was added to the day list

Scotch Argus

Scotch Argus ButterflyGrayling Grayling Butterfly

Common Darter

Common Darter

Scout Dike Reservoir

Took a quick ramble around a local Huddersfield Res in the vain hope of seeing a Wall Butterfly which didn’t pay off but plenty of common stuff to feast on the bright windy conditions…. Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown, Ringlets, Small Skippers, Green veined Whites and Gatekeepers

 

Green veined White

Green veined White ButterflySmall Tortoiseshell Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly