Showing posts from July, 2015

Wet Sunday - Turned Out Nice Again

Sunday 26th July 2015
A wet afternoon at WWT Slimbridge ended in a spot of sunshine as I was leaving, when I spotted a juvenile Mediterranean Gull loafing on the roof of the centre café with Black-headed Gulls.
The Wood Sandpiper was still on the Tack piece and a juvenile Garganey from Martin Smith hide.
Yesterday afternoon, Linda and I went to Hampton Court Castle and Gardens in Herefordshire for the afternoon. These are fantastic gardens and they looked beautiful on a gloriously sunny day - a different day to Friday and today. I noted six juvenile Siskins around the car park and gardens. Four came down to drink from one of the water features. A Little Grebe was on the lake and a Swift was feeding in the air with several Swallows.

Spoonbill and Wood Sandpiper Catch Up

Thursday 23rd July 2015
After missing both I year-ticked both Spoonbill and Wood Sandpiper at Slimbridge WWT in a quick visit, the latter being quite elusive. It was also nice seeing two Garganeys dabbling in front of Martin Smith hide:

Purple Patch

Sunday 12th July 2015
After refusing to not let an unfavourable weather forecast put me off last Sunday, and successfully ticking White Admiral in Glos., I applied the same optimism this Sunday. Setting off for Warwickshire in cloudy conditions, with rain forecast and no apparent prospect of sunshine, I pinned any hopes of seeing Purple Emperor on the weather differing from the forecast. As I travelled towards Tewkesbury northbound on the M5, some patches of blue sky were already appearing. Not only that, but the car's temperature gauge was showing 19oC, already 3 degrees higher than forecast. But had I left it too late in the day, it was already nearly 11am as I reached Ashchurch, to see any PE's at low level? I reached Oversley Wood at just before 11.30am, and some sunshine was coming through, and it felt warm. I soon spotted a couple of White Admirals and five Silver-washed Fritillaries, and a Hornet.
No PE's by midday however, and the sun was giving way to cloud and so…

Butterflying Weekend

Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th July 2015
On Saturday I took Paul F and Matt, who travelled from the Birmingham area, to Daneway Banks for Large Blue. Conditions were pretty much ideal and it wasn't long before we started finding our target species. We counted at least six Large Blues most quite fresh looking, but one very worn and almost unrecognisable. Other butterfly species included two Small Heaths, two Silver-washed Fritillaries, many Marbled Whites, Ringlets and Meadow Browns, Small Skippers, Large Skippers, a Common Blue and three Speckled Woods (two of these at Siccaridge Wood nearby).  I also saw my first Silver Y moth of the year.
Notable plants on the visit included most notably of all a Greater Butterfly Orchid at Siccaridge Wood and on Daneway Banks we noted Common Spotted Orchid and Pyramidal OrchidCommon Centaury, Yellow Centaury, Dark Mullein, Common Thyme, Wild OreganoField Scabious, Agrimony, Self-heal, and Red Clover.
Not forgetting birds, we recorded two Green W…