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 Fritillary:

Broad-bodied Chaser:

In yesterday's 'bird race' with Andy and Mark we notched up 103 species, starting with Nightjar at Boys Grave in the forest at 4.30am and finishing with Yellowhammers more locally at Hardwicke at 4.00pm. In between we had many more excellent birds, including Firecrests at Yewtreebrake, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart at Speech House, Wood Warbler at Lightmoor, Spotted Flycatchers at Boys Grave car park, Dipper near Parkend, Turtle Dove at Ruardean Hill, Nightingale and Marsh Tit at Highnam Wood, and seven species of Gull. The seven Laridae included two stonkers at WWT - a first-winter LITTLE GULL, first on the Goose House Ground and later on South Lake, and a first-winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL on the Top New Piece. We also encountered a sow Wild Boar with c12 boarlets near Speech House at c6.00am, and on an Odonataral note, a nice Four-spotted Chaser was at Frampton. Thanks again guys for a brilliant day.


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