A promise of a better day was made by the weather forecasters today, and as I walked in to work, it did seem to be the case - no wind, no rain.
As I passed through migrant alley, there were a gaggle of 25 GREYLAG GEESE on one of the horse paddocks, where were they last month!
On the walk home I again located a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, it was calling, but I didn't locate any fledged young, and in the fields and fencelines I saw lots of Gate keeper butterflies.
This afternoon I set out in perfect conditions ( for me!) There was no wind, no rain, and the sun occasionally peeked out from behind the clouds, giving some warmth. I wanted to visit the tree nursery to get a photo of the many Gatekeeper butterflies that were enjoying the conditions, but each one I found, refused to open it's wings, so I kept scanning for a more obliging one. Before I did, I found a nice Common Blue butterfly, very scarce on my patch, also many Meadow Browns, Small and Large Skippers, and a few Comma's.
My chase for a Gatekeeper, brought me to a pair of small oak tree's, and remembering what the ''Greenie'' had told me about Purple hairstreak butterlfies living on oaks, I stopped and looked up at the foliage, I straight away saw two butterflies, one of which came down a alighted on a bramble leaf, I focused in on it and........bloody hell, it was one! I never would of thought it, I have never seen a Purple hairstreak, so this is a self found lifer, and on my patch, cool or what! I forgive Greenie his outrageous insinuations about my ''hot'' money being in the fridge, ( I thought he would have gone down the route of having my assets frozen!). After all I wouldn't have found the P. H. without his advice.
Also a well done is deserved to the tree nursery manger, Coblands should be proud of the way she has managed the fields for wildlife this year, well done to her.
The sunny intervals lasted just 40 mins, and by 15:00hrs it clouded over and the sky looked threatening. I made my way over to Migrant Alley to try and find some birds, but as I reached my seat the rain came down. Believing what the forecasters had said - that any showers would be light and short lived, I pushed myself into the leeward side of the hedge for some shelter.................half an hour later I was soaked and the rain was only just easing grrrr! The rain did stop but I was wet, and my bins and camera were wet, and the next shower was looming on the horizon, so i trudged off home. However I was well happy with the Purple Hairsreak, that made up for getting caught out in the rain. Oh, and I never did get that gatekeeper photo!
If it cheers up this evening I'll try and get out again.
Above and below. Purple Hairstreak. A female I believe.
Also the Common Blue. A Male.
This Peacock butterfly was a nice sighting, not seen one for a while