Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Minsmere day

Had a long weekend in Norfolk\Suffok so first stop was Minsmere always a special place and yet again start off fairly team a few Barnacle Geese and Avocets and a big Gulls flock mainly black headed so headed to ther Bittern Hide where had great views of a few Bitterns coming into land but the real magic started with the thunder storms with the reserver looks very mystic and after the rain wildlife came out to dry with a bittern very close to the hide, a Red Deer feeding nearby and a Cuckoo drying out before been chased off by a Reed Warbler. Next headed to the Island Mere hide where I had very close view of Marsh Harrier Hunting over the reed beds and in the Reed Bed had Sedge and Reed Warbler feeding their family and a wonderful family of Beared Tits 5 in all.

Then walked around to beach area where had lot of Common Terns flying over with the odd Sandwich Tern. In the pool around some quite early Wigeon and Spotted Redshanks and in with the gull flock some Mediterranean Gulls also along the beach a young fox cub, some Common Whitethroats, a Sallow Family and a beautiful Wall Brown.

Cuckoo Drying out

Bittern in flight

Marsh Harrier hunting

Marsh Harrier hunting

Black-headed gull taking off

Yawning Sandwich Tern

Young swallow

Mediterranean Gull

Monday, 20 June 2011

Danbury area

Today went to my Danbury to see my dad and had a nice walk around the Common in the morning hopping to see one of the elusive reptiles espically the adder but no luck with them but had plenty of wildlife to make up for it with lots of  Whitethroats and Wrens singing and 1 Nightingale briefing singing in the woodland and lots of butterflies with a fresh Comma and lots of Meadow Brown, Ringlets , Large Skipper and quite a few Small Skippers and my first Purple Hairsteak of the year a nice bonus.

Purple Hairstreak
In the afternoon had a pleasant walk around Heybridge Basin with Avocets breeding in small numbers though only 1 chick visable, few Redshanks, Sheldducks, Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Gull around the seafront and on the fields around had Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and Linnet singing around the hedges a lovely place for a nice summer walk.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Shenly Park

Had a pleasent evening walk with my local RSPB group round Shenley park quite a range of habbits with Meadows, Grassland, Woodland and a nice view over the local area just making out the edge of St. Albans. Wildlifewise had quite a few of both Thrushes and Blackbirds feeding after the recent rain, few Greenfinches,Wrens, Blackcaps and Robins and a nice patch of 7-spotted ladybird which seem quite rare localy this year and lots of moths flying around which attracted the bats in the woodland.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

After the rain

After the heavy rain on sunday night decided to do my Heartwood transect on monday afternoon due to sun forcast and quite a good choice as after a slow start with just 1 Brimstone in the first 2 sections once i got into the meadow sections it just came alive with butterflies with Meadows Browns and Large Skipper in very high numbers with 103 and 37 of them. A nice bonus in section 4 was the first Small Skipper of the year and in sections 5 and 6 had Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies with 4 feeding on the thistles aloong the scrubland in section 6. On the way back through the wildflower meadow had 1 well worn Brown Argus at the bottom hill and after a view of the stunning poppy field on my route back had a nice family of Common Whitethroats in the edge.

Large Skipper feeding on thistle

Small Tortoiseshell feeding on thistle

YoungCommon Whitethroats in hedge

Sunday, 12 June 2011

London WWT

Had a lovely walk around the Wildlife and Wetland trust reserve in Barnes a nice family nature reserve. Had lot of Warblers calling with good numbers of Reed and Sedge Warbers a nice family of young Blackcaps and 1 singing Cetti Warber briefing showing. Had lot of Swifts, Sand Martins, House Martins and a few Swallows over the reserve as well as plenty of young birds of the common garden birds.  Lots of Orchids with Common, Southern Marsh and the odd Bee and Pyramidal Orchid around.

Quite a few waterfowl with Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Egyptian Goose, both lot of Grebes with the Little Grebe nesting and Pochard with lots of young. In the Wild meadow area had one lovely Water Vole and lot of Marsh Frogs Calling, 1 Black-tailed Skimmer and 1  Emperor Dragonfly.

Bee Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid just coming up

Reed Warbler

Young Robin

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Bentley Wood

Had a special trip on sunday with my local group of Butterfly Conservation to bentley wood on the Hampshire Wiltshire border to learn about the South East Woodland project and a chance to see some unusal Butterflies and moths. As it was quite a grey day and rain was due later we first went to look for the butterflies in the eastern section where at first we got 1 Large Skipper and 1 White Admiral very early indeed and quite a few birds including Tree Pipits, Woodcock and a lot of Willow warblers and Chiff-chaffs around which both breed on site. Further into the eastern section we had Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterflies as due to the early spring this year Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and Marsh Fritillaries butterflies had passed season and we also had sighting of the Argent & Sable Moth and Drab Looper Moth both rare species that the woodland project is aiming to look after. After the rain came down at the end of the eastern section we had lunch then we were taken round the top end were we shown how there were coppicing for certain butterflies and moth as alot of the Fritillaries are quite fussy with there habbit requiments which is why sadly alot are only found in certain areas which is why this project is trying to encourage local woodlands to help with the habbit requiments with grants which help the landowners and the butterflies by help the population have bigger gene pools.

White Admiral

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Argent & Sable Moth

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Butterflies in the sun

Spent an enjoyable morning out in Radnage in the sun with plenty of butterflies and apossible sighting of a Purple Hairstreak too fast too know for sure. I had good sightings of my target butterfly the Adonis Blue with at least 5 different specimens flying around the hill behind St. Marys Church and  showing well the sky blue colouring of the species. Around the meadows very big numbers of Small Blues and small numbers of Brown Argus and Dingy Skipper and for the first time this year large numbers of the common summer butterflies with Large Skippers and Meadow Browns around the meadows.

In the afternoon headed to Aldbury Nowers where i got my first sighting of Small Blue in Hertfordshire in the first field nice to see a species increasing range. Then walked around the rest of the reserve where had 4 fresh Brimstones, 1 late Green Hairstreak, 2 Large White,3 Green-veined White and at least 20 Common Blues , 15 Brown Argus and 40 Small Heath with small numbers of Meadow Brown and Large Skipper.

Meadow Brown

Large Skipper

Adonis Blue

Green Hairstreak
Small Blue