Thursday, 16 July 2009

Before I left for my afternoon patch visit today, I saw this little character in the garden - unusual to see hedgehogs during the day.

I decided I would break my addiction to purple hairstreak Hunting, by not visiting the lake and scrub area this afternoon, instead I wandered around the Maize field, Paddocks, sheep pasture, and the small scrub area that is Migrant Alley.

A patch of Thistle there, was covered in Butterlfies, Peacock, Painted lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Small and large Skippers, as well as both small and Large White - A sight to gladden the heart. Just a few paces on, I found my first Small Copper of the year, a good species to get on my patch, I only ever see 1 or 2 in any year. Onwards I went, scanning both the sky and the long grass, and up flew a Common Blue butterfly - another scarce species on my patch.

I walked up round the Maize, and crawled under the 1.5m diameter gas pipe, which is about a meter of the ground at present, i'll be glad when its buried and finished. I scanned the maize egde and the fenceposts, in hope of an early Migrant Whinchat, but none there today, only a few LINNETS and GOLDFINCH'S. The horse paddocks held the usual ROOKS, CARRION CROWS and JACKDAWS, with the SWALLOWS skimming in between them all, whilst higher up HOUSE MARTINS twitterd, and still higher SWIFTS were seen. A SKYLARK gave me a nice photo chance, before flying up to sing, and as I watched it two BLACK HEADED GULLS flew over.

At the scrub I hoped to find the now elusive Lesser Whitethroat for the months list, but not a sign of one, or the Turtle Doves that are in there somewhere, so it was back to butterfly chasing. I found Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Meadow Browns plus more Whites and Skippers.

A short Skywatch didn't give me any new species for the month, just feral pigeons, STOCK DOVES, WOOD PIGEONS and two HERRING GULLS.

Above The obliging Skylark.

Above: My first Small Copper of the year. Below: A Peacock, I can't pass one of these and not photograph it!
Its the same with the Painted Ladies!
Below: One of the Many gatekeepers seen today
Last of all a Speckled Wood, a bit blurry i'm afraid.







15 comments:

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Five great butterfly shots there , and every one is a fresh specimen .
Did you notice the Small Copper is of the form with the blue spots on the hindwings ?
Should see more of the species from now till end of August , then another brood in early October .
They lay their eggs on Common or Sheep's Sorrel (Docks) so keep an eye where you find it .
Hope you were on cammo and blacked up when you tackled the pipeline .

Stewart said...

Warren thats like a butterfly field guide! All nicely posed....

Warren Baker said...

Very interesting Greenie! I was just pleased to find (and ID) a Small copper! One step at a time now.

Warren Baker said...

Stewart,
Thats my Obssesive side coming out again! I have to find perfect specimens in perfect poses.....help!!!

ShySongbird said...

Lovely to see the Skylark and all the butterflies are beautiful. I hope the Hedgehog is OK, it can be a sign of illness if they are seen in the day.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Songbird,
If that hedgehog is ill, it must be because it's overfed ! I'll keep an eye out though.

Dean said...

Great Stuff, Warren. The Skylark is a cracker.

Jann E. said...

Yes, it looks like Warren's Butterfly Field Guide today..I esp. was wowed by the peacock and small copper photos, fabulous!! Very nice skylark shot, too. Well done.

Phil and Mandy said...

some fantastic photos Warren, keep it up mate, we are having to show Dave the way i think.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Stunning collection Warren, the 1st butterfly is a real beauty, Mike.

The Early Birder said...

Super selection of flutters Warren but you may need the waterproofs for the next few days!

Mike H said...

Great shots of the butterflies Warren. Managed to get a few myself down at Great Dixter today. Dipped on the copper though.

NW Nature Nut said...

Incredible diversity! I am oozing with envy at all the butterflies you get to enjoy. Perhaps I need to move to Europe!

Kelly said...

Wow! Your butterfly shots are amazing. I've never seen any of them. I'm really developing an appreciation for them. (Have to say....would have liked seeing your crawling under the huge pipe! Hopefully you didn't get too dirty!)

Simon said...

Interesting to see the Hedgehog. Some super photos today.