Large Blues, Orchids, and other Midsummer Things

Large Blue, Daneway Banks
Since my last post I've spent two weeks on holiday in the Canaries and apart from that I've not done a lot of birding really. The holiday, on La Gomera, was great, wonderful scenery, and plenty of wildlife interest - I will get round to doing a trip report some time. Bird life-ticks included Bulwer's Petrel and Little Shearwater (now regarded as a split to North Atlantic or Macronesian Shearwater), and Trumpeter Finch, the latter being quite numerous around the apartment site we were on. I can only offer a photo of the latter here:
Male Trumpeter Finch, Playa Santiago, La Gomera
Also one of two friendly neighborhood Hoopoes which I saw daily in the vicinity.
Hoopoe, Playa Santiago, La Gomera
The top photo is one of three Large Blues I saw at Daneway Banks on 29th June, and talking of butterflies, I made a trip to Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon, on 22nd June with Mark H. where we eventually, and I mean eventually, saw a single Black Hairstreak. It was a bit on the shy side, but still nice to life-tick this rare species.
Large Blue, Daneway Banks
Female Black Hairstreak, Whitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire
Before we set off, Mark showed me one of the Elephant Hawk Moths  from his previous night's trapping:
Elephant Hawk-moth, Tuffley, Glos
The previous day I couldn't resist going for the lingering Cotswold Water Park Gannet on 21st, which was hanging around pits 57/58 (now called 'Somerford Lagoon' and 'Flagham Fen' respectively). It was also seen on pit 41 ('Freeth Meer'). I walked in from the Minety Road car park at Swillbrook Lakes and this is a pleasant walk, avoiding the 'bomb-crater' access road beyond the Lower Mill development.
Immature Gannet, Cotswold Water Park, Glos
This year seems to be a good one for Bee Orchids and I found my first this year at Kilkenny Viewpoint on 29th, and have since found a few more.
Bee Orchid, Kilkenny Viewpoint
I'll finish this post with a recent garden Hoverfly - Sphaerophoria scripta - not an easy ID but I recommend 'Britain's Hoverflies' by Stuart Ball and Roger Morris, an excellent book from WildGuides, one of my favourite publishers (I haven't been paid anything to say this!).
Sphaerophoria scripta, Quedgeley


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