Essex Skippers

Essex Skippers were my hit target for today never before captured upon the camera, so I was out to change that and the destination was Tywell Hills and Dales, why here? a few other species were to be support for the day.

Hit Tywell at 9am in the morning to numerous dog walkers and overcast skies but not to be downhearted I marched on, a few butterflies were on the wing as I entered the reserve Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Small Heath were on the wing. It was an hour before the skies became blue and sunny and then there was an explosion of colour and I happened to be in an area were there was a few Small Skippers about so I started searching, Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeepers, Small White, Large White, lots of Marbled Whites and then …nope Large Skipper, it took a while but find I did Essex Skipper and a bad capture but I was in the right place so I carried on…………

Eseex Skipper

Essex Skipper

A subtle difference but its mainly to do with antennae and being black underneath unlike the Small Skipper. Bird highlights here today were many Whitethroat, Common Buzzard and Red Kite

Decided on returning North via Fermyn Woods were the main target was the Purple Emperor (which on my visit today wasn’t seen) but plenty of Silver Washed Fritillary mainly whizzing past, Green veined White, Small White, Large White, Brimstone, lots of Gatekeeper, Comma, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, a Peacock, a few Purple Hairstreak but mainly high as were the White Admirals, Ringlets, Small Tortoiseshell

Bird highlights here were the many Red Kites…Dragonflies was a Four Spotted Chaser 

Silver Washed Fritillary

Silver Washed Fritillary

Bullcliffe NR

Managed a couple of hours out with the camera at a local nature reserve plenty of things to see in the very hot weather.

Butterflies on the wing were plenty of Ringlets, with fewer Meadow Browns, a couple of fresh Small Tortoiseshells, a handful of Common Blues, lots of Small Skippers about and fewer Large Skippers, also a single Brimstone

Moths on the wing were Burnet Moths 5 Spot Burnet and a single 6 Spot Burnet was found

The best find was a Agapanthia villosoviridescens or commonly known as a Golden-bloomed grey Longhorn Beetle, one I’ve being looking for a few week now

A few hoverflies about with Volucella pellucens being the best find

A few bird species added with a nice Common Buzzard, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, and Yellowhammer

Agapanthia villosoviridescens Small Tortoiseshell


Large Skipper 6 Spot Burnet Moth

Volucella pellucens

North Cave Wetlands

Another visit out to North Cave, Black tailed Skimmer once again top of the list to find (I didnt again), 4 Spotted Chaser being the only dragonfly seen. Plenty of Damselflies about Blue tailed were numerous so were Azure, Common Blue Damselfly took a bit of finding.

Butterflies were few with Brimstone, Common Blue, and Orange tip dispite the sunny weather.

Birds seen around the sight were………Avocet, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Crow, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Tern, Coot, Dunnock, Gadwall, Greylag Goose, House Martin, Lapwing, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Starling, Swallow, Teal, Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren

But the best find of the day for me was a few Rhyssa persuasoris (Sabre Wasp), great to watch with the very long Ovipositor which is longer than the body, also called the Giant Ichneumon, the biggest in Europe. (Photo below)

Rhyssa persuasoria

Photography Day

Todays plan was down to Old Moor to see the Glossy Ibis and photo hopefully some Dragonflies and then up to North cave Wetlands for Hoverflies and Dragonflies.

The day started well with on arrival good views of the Glossy Ibis but always at a safe distance for my camera, Dingy Skipper was a nice new find for the year along Green Lane, the other target species happened with a bit of searching but I did finally manage to see a single Four Spotted Chaser, of which I did manage to get a photo of

Four Spotted Chaser at Old Moor

Four Spotted Chaser

On then up to North Cave Wetlands were I managed to find a new Hoverfly for me a Cheilosia variabillis, dragonflies were a little bit more difficult with only a handful of Four Spotted Chasers about despite searching, should have been here yesterday one guy said….how many times have I heard that. I was hoping for a Broad Bodied Chaser, which didn’t happen, so I spent some time taking photos of the Four Spotted Chasers.

Azure Damselflies and Brimstone Butterflies were a nice distraction whilst watching the Four Spotted Chasers

Four Spotted Chaser and Brimstone Butterfly, North Cave Wetlands

Four Spotted Chaser


Day List at Old Moor :- Avocet, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Crow, Coot, Gadwall, Glossy Ibis, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Lesser Whitethroat, Magpie, Mallard, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Warbler, Robin, Sand Martin, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon

Brimstone, Dingy Skipper, Green veined White, Orange tip, Small White, Speckled Wood

Azure Damselfly, Blue tailed damselfly, Four Spotted Chaser

Day List at North Cave Wetlands : Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch,

Brimstone, Green veined White, Orange tip, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood

Azure Damselfly, Four Spotted Chaser

Old Moor and beyond

After early morning jobs I decided since the weather was great I would try my changes at Old Moor again for a few more migrants and insects.

Well I arrived at 11am and set off towards the Family Hide to nail the Mediterranean Gulls this time, it took a while looking thru all the Black headed Gulls, and a few Lesser Black backed Gulls but I found them this time amongst the Black headed Gulls on the first island, two birds seen at long last. Other birds seen from here were the Sand Martins now making home in the man-made bunker, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Cormorants, Moorhen, Coots, Canada and Greylag Geese.

Down on to Green lane where there was a Reed Warbler singing away close to the path, I decided on trying to see it and with patience it finally paid off with some great views of a secretive bird, then I caught sight of a Green Woodpecker as it flew down the lane, Brimstones and Orange tips were flying by as I made my way finally to the Wader Scrape hide were I saw a single Avocet, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, and plenty more Black headed Gulls

Decided then on a walk down to Bolton Ings down along Warbler Way were there were plenty of Willow Warblers and a few Chiffchaff, but around the hide was a Common Whitethroat giving good views, Dunnock again, Pheasant a few Goldfinch. On the way back a few Speckled Woods were seen.

A quick walk around the Dragonfly ponds in the vain hope of some damselflies, but alas none were found.

Birds at Old Moor :

Avocet, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greylag Goose, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Robin, Sand Martin, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Starling, Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren.


I travelled back then and took in the Ingbirchworth area were I finally connected with a single Wheatear, relief didn’t think i was going to connect with one this year, lots of Woodpigeon and Stock Doves about.

On to the Langsett area in hope of Pied Flycatchers, but on arrival to the site I found extensive workings going on so I wasn’t hoping on picking any up and I didn’t but a solitary Common Sandpiper on the dam wall was a nice bonus.

The final place for the day was Broadstones Res. for the reported Grasshopper Warblers seen that morning, they were not found but a lovely male Whinchat was the bird find of the day. Along with the Whinchat was Common Whitethroat,Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Willow Warblers

Birds Ingbirchworth Area :

Blackbird, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Sanpiper, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Linnet, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting,Robin, Starling, Stock Dove, Wheatear, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Yellowhammer.

Common Whitethroat

Common Whitethroat

Old Moor RSPB

Decided on a photography day today since the sun was out, and its been a while, so Old Moor was the destination, Butterflies and Insects were the target, and of course a few birds

Day List : Arctic Tern, Barn Owl, Bittern (Booming), Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Great White Egret, Green Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Lesser Whitethroat, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Little Ringed Plover, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, reed Bunting, Robin, Sand Martin, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer,…..

Brimstone, Comma, Orange tip, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood

Goldfinch Tree Sparrow

Reed Bunting . Dunnock

Bullfinch Brimstone

Comma Orange tip

Peacock Speckled Wood

Woodlarks and Woodpeckers

On what started to be a dull wet day we headed off towards Nottingham and the South Budby Common near Sherwood Forest for a few heathland birds, on arrival the weather was beginning to get brighter so we were hopeful for the birds we had come down to see.

We headed off towards the heath along the well defined footpaths and we were soon picking up calls from birds the first being a Tree Pipit, we enjoyed good views of the pipit and its parachute flights before moving on, Green Woodpecker teased us all morning with its calling and not giving itself up for viewing, Lesser Redpoll were calling and flying over us as we moved thru the heath, but no woodlarks.

We decided on a move down in to the forest and towards the great oak, it turned out to be a good move we picked up a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, giving itself by alarm calling, then flying up into the tree,Nuthatch were calling and then seen down by the feeders along with Robin, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit but no Marsh Tit this time.

Back then up on to the heath looking for the hopeful, the day was getting brighter, our luck might be turning, we soon picked up a call of a woodlark but couldn’t find them, we decided on retreating for dinner and coming back now we knew where they were.

We were soon back after nourishment soon picking up Woodlark calls, they took some finding dispite the calling but we located them giving themselves up to great views.

After the woodlarks we moved back North and landed at St Aidans near Fairburn Ings where eventually we caught up with the Black necked Grebes 5 birds seen by us but talking to a guy who had seen 7 in all plus a Bittern, on the way down to the grebe area we picked up , Meadow Pipits, Reed Bunting, Black headed Gulls (loads), Red Kite (briefly), Little Egret, Oystercatchers, Sparrowhawk flew by and thru the reeds.

After St Aidans we called around to Swillington Ings where a Kingfisher was seen brielfy flying up river

Day List at :-

Budby Common : Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greylag Goose, Jay, Kestrel, Lesser Redpoll, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Linnet, Long tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Robin, Song Thrush, Tree Pipit, Willow Warbler, Woodlark, Woodpigeon, Wren

St Aidans and Swillington : Bittern, Black headed Gull, Black necked Grebe, Canada Goose, Crow, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little Egret, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oysetrcatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Red Kite, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Shelduck, Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Swallow, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon

Black necked Grebe

Black necked Grebe