Black-necked Grebe at WWT, and Butterfly survey
It was a foggy start at Slimbridge WWT this morning, but the mile-long trek to the north of the reserve was well worth it to see the Black-necked Grebe, bringing my county year total to 202. It was rather distant and elusive after the first sighting, but I'd already had much closer views of these birds in Venice earlier in the year. Other highlights of the walk included two Curlew Sandpipers on the estuary with Dunlins and Ringed Plovers, 15 Sanderlings, a Hobby, a Whinchat (above), three Wheatears, two Snipe, a Brown Hare and a Common Frog. More details are on the WWT sightings page.
The afternoon turned warm and sunny, so I decided to carry out, belatedly (due to the weather), my second survey for UKBMS at Hardwicke in square SO7713. The butterflies were few and far between given the lateness in the season, with just a few species present namely Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Green-veined White (well-marked female, above), Small White, Large White and Speckled Wood. There were also two Silver 'Y' moths (below), a Migrant Hawker and a Brown Hare.
I amused myself for a while photographing one of the many Garden Spiders sitting in their webs in the garden this afternoon (below).
Finally, I'd like to add my congratulations to James and Sarah Lees on the recent birth of their son, Benjamin.