Showing posts from May, 2011

Quail and Corn

Friday 27th May 2011

At Hawling this afternoon at least two Quail were calling in the wheat field south of Roel Hill Farm near the Windrush Way at SP061243, also seven Corn Buntings(above), several Chimney Sweeper mothsand a Broad-bodied Chaser nearby.
Chimney Sweeper:

Later at the Bill Smyllie Butterfly reserve at Prestbury Hill, a pair of Marsh Tits were feeding recently-fledged young, also seen two Tree Pipits and c10 Swifts. On the Lepidopteral front, four Dingy Skippers and several Common Blues were the butterfly highlight, and I must must have seen around 80 Five-spot Burnet moths, plus two Mother Shiptons.
Dingy Skipper:

Five-spot Burnets:

Mother Shipton:

Lots of Birds and some Butterflies

Saturday 21st - Sunday 22nd May 2011

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
I've seemed to have spent a lot of the last two days in the forest - and why not, after all Linda was away on a hen weekend! Today I visted a couple of sites for butterflies with my Dad, who always seems to bring me good luck when I am in Lepidopteral mode. The weather didn't seem too promising at first, with strong winds and showers, but the rain died out and the sun came out, bringing with it the butterflies. At Brierley, the find of the day for me was a Pearl-bordered Fritillary; I don't believe this species has been recorded in the forest for some time. I also found three Wood Whites which were my reason for visiting this site, and a Green-veined White and a Small Heath. At the next site, Burnt Log (opposite New Fancy) there were at least six Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and a Common Blue. Also here, a female Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly.
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary:

Wood White:

Pearl-bordered Fr…

Adonis and Grizzled

Friday 13th May 2011

Grizzled Skipper
In unpromising conditions of mainly cloud, wind and moderate temperatures , I headed anyway for Breakheart Quarry this afternoon for butterflies. I'm glad I did, the sun did come out for some spells and two Grizzled Skippers were at the quarry, while the scarp of Breakheart Hill had three corking Adonis Blues, plus a Common Blue and a Brown Argus. Also in the quarry Wild Strawberry in fruit and lot's of flowering Lady's Mantle.
Grizzled Skipper:

Adonis Blue:

View from Breakheart Hill:

Wild Strawberry:

Lady's Mantle:

At Stinchcome Hill nearby, it was less sheltered and therefore more windy, but I still saw a good range of butterflies, including five Dingy Skippers, six Common Blues, five Brown Arguses, and four Small Heaths and also a Burnet Companion moth and a Hornet.
View from Stinchcombe Hill towards North Nibley:


Strawberry Fields Forever

Friday 6th May 2011

On a very warm and sunny afternoon I visited a number of local butterfly sites on Friday. I started at Rudge Hill NNR (Edge Common), with eight Duke of Burgundy a short distance from the roadside car park, and a Small Blue, three Small Heaths, three Brown Argus and seven Dingy Skippers among the other butterflies, also a Burnet Companion moth and a Red and Black Frogghopper (Cercopsis vulnerata).
Duke of Burgundy:

Brown Argus:

Red and Black Froghopper:

My next stop was Strawberry Banks NR, near Chalford (top photo). At least 60 Marsh Fritillaries were quite a spectacle, with a supporting cast including four Small Blues, c10 Common Blues, two Small Coppers, and c8 Dingy Skippers.
Marsh Fritillaries:

Small Blue:

Not far away, I visited Daglingworth Path, part of the Cirencester Park Bathurst Estate. I didn't have to walk far into the woods until I found at least 30 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries on the wing, and nectaring on Bugle. I crouched on the ground for some time bef…

Dotterel at Cleeve Hill

Wednesday 4th May 2011

A Dotterel at Cleeve Hill this evening was a real treat, well done to Tom for a great find. A couple of photos here taken in the fading evening light, what a cracking bird!

Weekend Sightings

Saturday 30th April - Monday 2nd May 2011

A good morning today on the high tide at Fretherne, making up for missing a Skua yesterday - my own fault for sleeping-in; although a Kingfisher on Court Lake was a year tick for this apparent rarity. Back to this morning, migration is in full swing on the river with loads of waders looking fantastic in the sun, including 300+ Bar-tailed Godwits(below), c50 Knot, plus Grey Plover, Sanderlings, Turnstones and Greenshanks; after it had dislodged the waders from the mud, the tide then produced a number of good birds, with Black Terns, Artic Terns, Common Terns and a Kittiwake, also at least one Merlin - the full haul is on the Gloster Birder- thanks guys as ever for the entertaining banter!
On Saturday I made a butterfly excursion to the Bill Smyllie reserve at Prestbury Hill, with 10+ Duke of Burgundy(next three photos), three Green Hairstreaks(bottom), two Small Blues(top photo, mating) and two Small Heaths being the highlights.