Monthly Archives: August 2022

Into Lincolnshire

News of a European Roller in Lincolnshire near a place called Timberland broke this week but I couldn’t get down to see it until the 28th, it was still there of the evening of the 27th. An early start, I was on site at 8am where I found a small group of birders scanning the area where the Roller had been frequenting, the bird hadn’t been seen that morning, looks like I’ll be missing out on another. I decided on giving it a couple of hours, in the mean time people came and went, birds seen in due course were a flock of Golden Plover, a Hobby hunting along one of the far dikes, landing occasionally in one of the far trees, Common Buzzard also a top of a far tree, Whinchat in the nearby wheat field along with a Whitethroat and a Reed Bunting, there was also a few Brown Hares in the nearby fields.

No sign of the Roller after two hours so I gave in and moved on to a place called Snakeholme Pits, which is a small nature reserve managed by the Lincolnshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation, a two acre site with flower rich meadows, sunny banks sloping down to a stream and a pond, so here I was hoping for Dragonflies and Butterflies. I wasn’t disappointed in my two and a half hour stop. I started looking around the pond area and soon picked up on Brown Hawkers and Migrant Hawkers, the Migrant Hawkers were patrolling the reed edge so I picked up on these fairly easily, one did eventually land at close quarters giving me a fairly good chance of a decent photo, Common and Ruddy Darters were also in attendance but these were mainly hanging out on the grass banks away from the pond.

Butterflies, I found that the most productive area today was the meadow area as you came thru the main gate, here I saw a few Small Coppers now looking a bit worn, along with Common Blue and a couple of Brown Argus.

As I made my way back to the car I noticed another area further back from the gate, I decided on having a look, I’m glad I did, there were a couple of Speckled Woods in this area, there seemed to be a small ditch area with water running along the bottom, but what I saw here was a small Damselfly. The stand out feature were four white spots near the wing edges one on each wing, I was taken a bit by surprise I wasn’t expecting to see what I was seeing, my thoughts were Willow Emerald Damselfly.

I needed a side shot of the thorax to be completely sure, but they were in a very awkward place to get to, I decided on walking down the path a little bit, further on I picked up on a couple more Willow Emeralds. I did eventually manage to get a thorax shot which clinched the identity for me, a new damselfly species, one I had planned hopefully to see today but it wasn’t planned for this site, always expect the unexpected.

My other target species today was the Brown Hairstreak Butterfly and was hoping Snakeholme pit was the place to see them today, but seeing Willow Emerald damselfly made up for that, I decided on a stop at Chambers Wood Farm a well known site. I arrived at 13:30 and didn’t leave till 16:00 hours and for the time i spent here I was disappointed in the lack of butterflies, what I did see were Large White, a very worn out Purple Hairstreak, Red Admiral and plenty of Speckled Woods, another year to wait to hopefully see Brown Hairstreaks.

Brown Argus Butterfly
Willow Emerald Damselfly

Bullcliffe and the Ponds

My first port of call today was out to Bullcliffe Colliery again to find some more hoverfly species. I was disappointed this time with only a few species seen, these being Eristalix pertinax and Syrphus ribesii, however my best find here was a ternal Hairy Shieldbug, never found one before so a nice experince and a Ichneumon Wasp . That was Bullcliffe so I decided on calling at the local ponds for some more Dragonfly action.

My first target was a male Emerald Damselfly, along with still a few Blue tailed Damselflies. The bigger dragonflies were flying around one of the ponds Brown Hawker the only one that was settling, that and a couple of Southern Hawkers on the same pond. I also re-found the Ruddy Darter from my previous visit, but also pair in the mating hold.

Ternal Hairy Shieldbug


Another sunny day and another visit down to the ponds for hopefully some Dragonfly action. On arrival there was a Common Buzzard overhead, and I was also buzzed by a couple of Male Southern Hawker Dragonflies. I got to the pond I wanted to be at and watched for ten minutes to see where the dragonfly action was, the other side., I slowly made my way around but something caught my eye in the reeds, Common Darter, I started taking a few photos and on closer inspection I realised it was a male Ruddy Darter, having not found one in the Huddersfield area before, I was a bit happy to have found it. Other dragons about were a few Brown Hawkers with females egg laying within the pond and I also found a single Common Darter. Damselflies about were Emerald and Blue tailed Damselflies.

Did observe a few butterflies, a few Gatekeepers, a Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and Green veined White.

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Male Ruddy Darter
Female Southern Hawker

Bullcliffe NR

Another reserve I haven’t been to in a while mainly due to the same reason as my local ponds, the area has become neglected and is therefore becoming overgrown, with brambles and saplings.

After a good walk around I ended up with four species of butterfly, one very pristine Painted Lady along with Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Green veined and Small Whites, no Common Blues here either.

I faired better with the hoverflies and walked away with Chrysotoxum bicinctum, Episyrphus balteatus, Eristalis arbustorum, Eristalis pertinax, Melangyna umbellatarum, Myathropa florea and Syrphus ribesii

Click on the photo to enlarge

Chrysotoxum bicinctum
Melangyna umbellatarum
Episyrphus balteatus
Myathropa florea


A very brief visit down to the local ponds produced very little, with no Damselfly or Dragonfly activity. However its always good to check and I eventually did find a first for the ponds in the form of a single Purple Hairstreak Butterfly, so when I nearly gave up something turned up.

Purple Hairstreak