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Brockadale NR

With about five hours to spare and with the sun a blazing what better way to spend it then at Brockadale NR a well known place for Marbled White Butterflies.

I wasn’t disappointed on arrival as there were a couple of Marbled Whites in the car park, out on the reserve there were lots mainly on the first slope down to the metal gate, it was a slow process getting thru the first gate as I filled my boots with Marbled White Photos. Thru the gate and to the right I wondered up the path coming up with a single Small Heath, and a Dark Green Fritillary which didn’t stop at all, lots of Meadow Browns as well and for the life in me I couldn’t find a Ringlet.

I walked thru this field towards the next gate and went right following the river and saw a female Banded Demoseille Damselfly and that didn’t stop for a photo either. So following the river I came across a wet patch with Meadow Browns and a Red Admiral mud puddling. After a few Photos here I walked up the banking to find another banded Demoseille, this one did hang around for a photo but among the grasses, so turned out to be more grass than Demoiselle.

Up on the banking were Brown Argus, Dark Green Fritillary (Fly Thru), Painted Lady, Brimstone (Fly Thru), Small Skipper, and Meadow Brown.

Only other Butterfly Species for the day on the way to the car was a Common Blue ♂

Butterflies for the Day :-  Brimstone, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Heath, Small Skipper

Birds noted :- Chiffchaff, Skylark, Swallow, Whitethroat, Yellowhammer

Marbled Whites

Marbled White

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Bullcliffe NR

Off plan this visit but since it was a sunny evening I couldn’t resist the temptation of a bit of photography.

I was immediately greeted by a Common Blue Butterfly, perched up, but in windy conditions it proved a bit difficult in getting a good pic.

Common Blue 

Common Blue Butterfly

After this beauty it become overcast but broke after about 30 mins but even this proved to be difficult in finding more butterflies, the good numbers of Dingy Skipper last week proved difficult in finding this week due to the conditions, a handful did eventually show.  A single Brown Argus, a single Green veined White and what I was hoping for this week a single Small Heath, which gave me the run around before I eventually pinned it down, but not in a postion for a photo

Bullcliffe NR

Sun is shinning so I decided on a quick visit out to the Bullcliffe site to see what was on the wing. Plenty of birds calling on my arrival Garden Warblers, Whitethroats and Willow Warblers being of note but I’d come for butterflies and a was soon on to a small blue type, thinking Holly Blue but i never got round to pinning that one down. Soon picked up another small butterfly on the daisy flowers this one proved to be a Brown Argus, a first for site for me a good start, other butterflies were Orange-tip, a Speckled Wood and a good number of Dingy Skippers. Other insects of note was a Gorse Shieldbug

Dingy Skipper 
Dingy Skipper

Brown Argus

Brown Argus

Fairburn Ings

A day out in the Aire Valley at Fairburn ings and St Aidans there was a few birds I needed to catch up on. Arrived at the vistor centre car park at about 8am and headed off towards the coal tip trail with the sound of a Garden Warbler nearby. Up on the trail Black headed Gulls were evident, a Common Whitethroat was singing from a nearby Hawthorn bush close to the river as I made my way up to the first pool, Skylarks were singing overhead, Reed Warblers were calling from the Reedbeds and Swifts, Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins were tumbling thru over the water and reeds, also around here were a couple of Common Terns and a “yaffling” Green Woodpecker. 

Walk round to the viewing area and Cormorants along with Grey Heron could be seen and a couple of Spoonbills were in the trees at the nest site, these Spoonbills soon took flight (2) slowly gaining height in a circular flight pattern before eventually leaving Fairburn. I moved on slowly making my way along the trail, I soon stopped however as a familiar call alerted me to a Lesser Whitethroat call, it took some finding but gave itself up eventually.

Little Grebes, Coots, Moorhen, Tufted Ducks, Gadwalls, Mallards, Pochard were seen on the pools down at the far end closer to Lin Dike, a Bittern was in flight and steadily made its way towards St Aidians , and I also caught a single Avocet flying in the over direction. Whilst here I heard Cuckoos were calling, I eventually saw about Four birds around this area. On the way back a Cettis Warbler was calling form a bush close to the footpath, but as always a difficult bird to see even though your standing next to it.

Birds at Fairburn Ings :- Avocet, Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Cettis Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Tern, Coot, Cormorant, Cuckoo, Garden Warbler, Great Crested Grebe, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, House Martin, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Lesser Whitethroat, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, magpie, Mallard, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Reed Warbler, Robin, Sand Martin, Skylark, Spoonbill, Starling, Stock Dove, Swallow, Swift, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren (49)

Butterflies ; Brimstone, Green veined White, Orange tip



I spent a good few hours at Fairburn but decided to head over to St Aidans for the afternoon the first bird was the Little Owl basking in the sun on the fence near the  drag line. Onward then for the long walk to catch my final quarry of the day but on the travel I picked up on Meadow Pipits on the hill and Sedge Warbler close by. Looking over the ridge and furrows there were plenty of Lapwing, Oystercatchers, Redshank about Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings calling from the reed-beds. Further along the path Common Terns were found along with House and Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows and Common Whitethroats , and I finally found my last quarry of the day a single Black necked Grebe, wasn’t hard to find since the area I was in had signpost along the path just had to wait a bit for one to come out of the reeds as it made its way across the waterway into another patch of reeds. The walk back produced a booming Bittern and a Willow Warbler

Birds at St Aidans :- Bittern, Black headed Gull, Black necked Grebe, Canada Goose, Crow, Common Tern, Coot, Cormorant, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, House martin, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Lapwing, Little Owl, Meadow Pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oysetercatcher, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Sand martin, Sedge Warbler, Shoveler, Swift, Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Wren

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Old Moor RSPB

Sunny again and a few hours spare so nipped down to Old Moor and meet up with a friend. Plan was to tackle the Green Lane end first and move on to reedbed side, first highlight was a single Gorse Shieldbug on the approach to Family Hide. No Mediterranean Gull was not located but lots and lots of Black headed Gulls along with Herring, Lesser Black backed and Common. Wildfowl seen were Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Mallard, Gadwall, and finally located the Male Garganey tucked up way up the back of the pool.

On to the Wader Scrape hide where we were lucky enough to share in the excitement of 2 Black Terns. There were a few Butterfly species down Green Lane namely Brimstone, Orange tip, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.

We finally made our way around to the Reedbed Hide where we could hear the Bittern booming better but we never got the pleasure of seeing it, we pick up on a calling Sedge Warbler near the Bittern Hide on our way back to the Visitor centre.

Bird List :- Bittern (H), Black Tern, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Gadwall, Garganey, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Litte Grebe, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pochard, Redshank, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Stock Dove, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Woodpigen

Butterflies :- Brimstone, Orange tip, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Grand Tour Day 3

The final stop was at Rutland Water at the Osprey Viewpoint on the way back home after a brief family visit into Dorset. Around the visitor centre feeders Chaffinch, Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting, and my first of the year Willow Warbler calling. The walk down to the viewing hide and once again there now seems to Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs a plenty, the Ospreys were easily seen, the female was on the nest site and the male was nearby, he soon gave flight and gave a few dives, but no fish were caught so it seemed he was having a wash off before he gave flight off the reserve. As this was only a stop off on the road to home I didn’t hang around for long and I was soon on the road again, always like Rutland maybe next time it will be a day visit

Birds at Rutland Water :- Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Great crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Mute Swan, Osprey, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Reed Bunting, Rook, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon (29 Species)



The Grand Tour Bird List inc seen on Travels (85 Species)

Avocet, Barn Owl, Bar tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brent Goose, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch, Collard Dove, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Garganey, Golden Plover, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jack Snipe, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Little Ringed Plover, Long tailed Tit, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Meadow Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Osprey, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pintail, Pochard, Red Kite, Red crested Pochard, Red legged Partridge, Redshank, reed Bunting, Ringed Plover, Robin, Rook, Ruff, Sand Martin, Sanderling, Sandwich Tern, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Swallow, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren


Grand Tour Day 2

Todays plan was to motor up to RSPB Titchwell (MAP) and then call in at RSPB Lakenheath on my way back to the B&B

Arrived at Titchwell at about 10am to the sound of my first Blackcaps (later to see) of the year and Chiffchaffs, from the car park I headed on to the reserve and my attention was drawn to a Muntjac Deer in the ditch that runs along the side of the path, undisturbed by us looking on it went about its business feeding away, I stayed watching on until it quietly disappeared in to the undergrowth.

My first port of call  was the beach and from the dunes I could see nothing on the sea but many waders at a distance  along the shoreline. I made my way over and kept myself at a safe distance watching, Oystercatchers, Bar tailed Godwits, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Knot and Redshanks.

Back on to the I passed a couple of Red Crested Pochard on the Tidal Marsh and the calls of newly arrived Sandwich Terns overhead, Curlew, Redshank and Avocet were on the Volunteer Marsh as I made the Parrinder Hide my next stop. From the hide my highlights were Mediterranean Gulls, Sandwich Terns, Little Ringer Plovers, Pied Wagtail, Avocets, Redshanks, Ruff, SnipeBlack tailed Godwits and a distant Marsh Harrier.

Birds at Titchwell :- Avocet, Bar tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Curlew, Dunnock, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Grey Plover, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Knot, Linnet, Little Ringed Plover, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Red crested Pochard, Redshank, Robin, Ruff, Sanderling, Sandwich Tern, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Teal, Woodpigeon, Wren (43 Species)

My allocated time at Titchwell was over, too short a visit maybe next time a bit longer, on then and down to Lakenheath were I was greeted by a calling Green Woodpecker as I entered the car park. A calling Cettis Warbler bowled me over as I left the car park alas I couldn’t find it. A quick look from the Washland viewpoint and I saw Redshank, Little Ringed Plovers, and  Lapwing

I walked all the way down to Joist Fen Viewpoint were there was many a Marsh Harrier and little else on view in the late afternoon sun. A stop off at the Mere gave me the Male Garganey, Mute Swan, Coot, Moorhen, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler and Tufted Duck.

The last visit was around the Visitor Center and on my way there I picked up a Sparrowhawk over the woods, around the center I watched Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long tailed Tit, Robin and Reed Bunting

Birds at Lakenheath :- Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Garganey, Goldfinch, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Woddpecker, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Lapwing, Littel Grebe, Little Ringed Plover, Long tailed Tit, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Robin, Rook, Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Tufted Duck, Wren (36 Species)

Butterflies:- Peacock


Muntjac Deer-00863