Showing posts from June, 2011

Collard Hill

Sunday 26th June 2011

On a very hot day with temperatures of around 30oC, I took the opportunity to visit Collard Hill in Somerset, having had to drive to Bristol anyway. The famous Large Blue site didn't disappoint, with at least six individuals seen. The mid-afternoon heat meant most of them seemed to never settle, but one female Large Blue was egg-laying and so allowed me to get a couple of photos (above and below). It actually flew towards me at one point and landed a few feet away, just long enough to quickly get on it with the camera as it laid its eggs on some Wild Thyme, before it was soon on its way again.

Also at the site were some beautiful Wasp Orchids still just about in flower (below), and I saw my first two Silver-washed Fritillaries of the season near the Ivy Thorn Hill car park.
Wasp Orchid:

Pyramidal Orchid:

Collard Hill - the upper slope looking SE towards Combe Hill:

Main Large Blue area:

View towards King's Sedge Moor:

Slimbridge Feast

Saturday 25th June 2011

A very memorable day at WWT Slimbridge this morning, with a host of excellent birds. It started with a search at Zeiss Hide for the adult female RED-NECKED PHALAROPE which I eventually caught up with on the Rushy Pen (above). A first-summer Mediterranean Gull and the pair of Ruddy Shelducks were at Zeiss Hide (as were the hybrid Ruddy-type Shelducks) and a Cuckoo was calling from the direction of South Finger. A smart breeding-plumaged Spotted Redshank from Robbie Garnett hide was my first of the year. The same, or another, Mediterranean Gull was later on South Lake (below).

Also on South lake was an adult breeding-plumaged SPOONBILL which I watched and photographed for some time (below). A great morning!

Video here:

The Mythe

Thursday 2nd June 2011

Common Club-tail
In very warm sunny conditions, with temperatures reaching 24oC, a trip to The Mythe late afternoon produced a pair of Yellow Wagtails, a male Cuckoo and a stunning array of Odonata: I noted four Common Club-tails, six Scarce Chasers, five Emperor Dragonflies, a Four-spotted Chaser, two Black-tailed Skimmers, c15 White-legged Damselflies, c30 Red-eyed Damselflies, numerous Azure, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies and c30 Banded Demoiselles; plus, my first Large Skipper of the year.
Yellow Wagtail:

Common Club-tail:

Scarce Chaser:

Emperor Dragonfly:

Four-spotted Chaser:

White-legged Damselfly:

Red-eyed Damselfly: