Down to Salcey Forest this week for the Northants Butterfly Conservation walk, we knew before the day that we would be struggling for Purple Emperor and we were right , things seem to be a couple of week behind this year or is this becoming the norm? However we were hoping.
We met in the Horsebox car park, this one is free where as the visitor centre is not, the meeting time was 10:30am and when all had gathered (35) we were off, out of the car park, not towards the main road.
Soon we were picking up Ringlets, these seem to be having a good year, White Admiral was shouted by one of the group and we all got to have good views although little bit distant but it was afresh individual and was settled. Comma was seen next giving us us the hope it might be a Silver washed Fritillary before it settled to give good views. Wood Whites were next on offer along with Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell.
On our walk around we were also picking up other widlife as we went along Southern Hawker and Broad Bodied Chaser Dragonflies. Coming eventually across a pond, no dragonflies here but we did find a Slow worm and a few Common Lizards. Once again on the walk a few of my favourite beetles were found, the longhorns, 3 species today, the Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn, Rutpela maculata, and Rhagium mordax.
Back to the butterflies, we eventually arrived at the meadow were we found Marbled Whites, Large Skippers, Common Blue and a Painted Lady.
A great day unfortunately no Purple Emperors, White letter or Black Hairstreaks were found whilst we were on the walk, Black Hairstreak was after we left for the Norfolk coast and the chase of a Great Knot
We left Salcey at about 2pm and arrived at Titchwell RSPB reserve at about 4:30pm, Titchwell being the last reported place for the Great Knot.
We soon got the news that a Peregrine had disturbed the Knot flock along with the Great Knot and hadn’t been seen since 1:30pm. Not to be discouraged we worked or way thru the Knot flock, sitting in the Parrinder Hide, but alas it wasn’t there, but we looked upon Avocet, Bar tailed and Black tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Common Tern, Pied Wagtails, distant Common Buzzrad along with a Marsh Harrier.
We decided on a walk down to the sea catching Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Linnets, on the way down on the beach Common Scoter out at sea, Sandwich and Little Terns overhead. 7:30pm came we decided on leaving and on leaving the car park at 7:45pm the pager went Great Knot seen at Holme next the Sea with directions, it had to be done has we were passing we couldn’t leave it could we, by 8:15pm we were looking at my first Great Knot, now thats how to end a day out
Day List Salcey Forest
Comma, Wood White, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, White Admiral Ringlet, Marbled White, Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue, Painted Lady, Buzzard, Goldcrest, Red Kite, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Broad Bodied Chaser, Southern Hawker
Day List Titchwell
Red Admiral, Avocet, Greylag Goose, Pied Wagtail, Moorhen, Black headed Gull, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Black tailed Godwit, Knot, Dunlin, Shelduck, Common Tern, Shoveler, Coot, Woodpigeon, Buzzard, Redshank, Reed Warbler, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Swallow, Sedge Warbler, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Cormorant, Common Scoter
Rhagium mordax Longhorn Beetle
Painted Lady Butterfly