Monday, 13 July 2009

Sunny spells and a bit of a breeze today for my patch visit, and as I left the house around 14:00hrs the first thing that I heard was the alarm call of the local SWALLOW colony, which meant only one thing - a Raptor was about. I stood and watched, sure enough, after a few seconds a SPARROWHAWK popped up, it was chased and hassled by the brave swallows, who saw it off soon enough.
A few minutes later I was in the tree nursery, hoping for a butterfly or two, when I saw two more SAND Martins fly south, a sure sign of the season on the turn.

Not having seen any Butterflies of note, I wandered over to the lakeside scrub, I checked out the buddlea bush, and found 4 each of Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies, but it could well of been more, as they kept coming and going. Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, and both Large and Small Whites were also feeding on the blooms, which by the way gave of a real heady perfume, I found it was hard to leave that little area ! Leave it I did though, and went into the scrub to look for the Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler, both of which refuse to be added to this months list, and weren't added today, although I may have caught a glimpse of the Garden warbler, it or a Blackcap was scolding me from a nearby bush, where it had youngsters. I also looked for the Purple hairstreak butterflies and was surprised when i found at least 6 in one clump of Oaks, 3 in another clump and at least two in another, this butterfly is probably one of the most common on my patch!
It was whilst waiting for a Purple hairstreak to show that I heard a familiar call from an old friend, a MARSH TIT ! A welcome addition to july's list. The last Marsh Tit was seen on the 14th March earlier this year. This individual was an Immature bird, and I don't think it would have been bred on my patch without me noticing the parents about. Marsh Tits leave my patch in spring to breed elsewhere, then come back in the late summer to over winter. ( well one or two do!) Last year the first one wasn't seen until Oct. 9th, but in 2007 the first one was noted on July 1st, I hope it finds my garden feeders again this Autumn.

A short skywatch at migrant alley was an unproductive affair, apart from a YELLOWHAMMER bringing in food for it's recently fledged young, which were in the hedge just behind me.

Above: A yellowhammer, Below: The marauding Sparrowhawk

Above: One of the Red Admirals on the buddlea. Below: is a distant shot of a Purple hairstreak, this is as close as I ever seem to get!


JRandSue said...

Warren,great butterflies.
Hope we can duplicate some of your success's.
Lovely stuff.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
You started slipping into 'Autumn mode' again .
Patience with the PHs , they will come closer , especially when they start feeding on fruits .

Abe Lincoln said...

You have some nice bird photos today and the Red Admiral. I have only seen the Cabbage Whites here. I wonder when the rest of them will get here or get out and about.

Thank you very much for visiting my birds blog and for the comment you left me there.
My Birds Blog

John Young said...

Hi Warren, tis all relative aka crossbills. I wished I had purple hairstreaks somewhere near to me! Cheers, John

Dean said...

Well done with the Marsh Tit, Warren. I`ll swap you several Willows for just one Marsh.

Adam said...

Hi Warren, your teasing me with those Purple Hairstreaks, I'm scanning oaks and brambles like never before on the Barming patch - and not finding them...ahhhhhhhhhhh!


PS Back blogging again!

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Warren your Purple today beats my White Letter hands down but some warm weather could be looming so I'll be out to match you!



Jann E. said...

Another nice outing, with proper photos...yellowhammer is esp nice, says this fan of yellow birds...lovely Red Admiral shot too. As for that comment about the season on the turn...we'll have none of that!

ShySongbird said...

You always seem to see something worth showing on your walks Warren, it was nice to see the Yellowhammer, I still haven't seen them along the disused railway line here where they used to be a common sight.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
At least you had decent weather where you are, as did we here. Well done with the Marsh Tit. Nice butterfly photo's.

Simon said...

Well done with the Purple Hairstreaks Again Warren, and its good to hear you've caught up with the Marsh Tit too.