I spent five hours out this morning, carrying out a full patch walk, then spent a couple of hours back out over at the Scrubby Woods for a Dragonfly and Butterfly search. My five hour full patch walk yielded 46 species, not a bad tally for a July day, one of the highlights came as I left home at 06:00hrs when I looked up to see 15 - 20 SWIFTS flying about, as I watched them I became aware of a huge circular ''ball'' of Swifts higher up, a mass of at least 250 birds! I wonder if this was a post roost gathering or a pre migration gathering ?
More highlights were had when I saw my first LITTLE EGRET (55) of the month flying low of the lakes, where on the main lake, I had my first KINGFISHER (56) of the month, the July tally is ticking along nicely now, as I also added PEREGRINE (57) on a short evening patch walk yesterday :-)
I at last added WHITETHROAT to this years ''successfully bred' list, two very recently fledged birds were seen with an adult at the Ashes Lane Fields, I never did see the Greenhouse grounds fledglings, I couldn't check the area today as heavy machinery was moving about the grounds - ominously :-(
Other noteworthy bits were :- A pair of BUZZARDS and a pair of SPARROWHAWKS circling over Migrant Alley, the KESTREL family over various parts of my patch. Another SISKIN fling over the Ashes Lane Fields, and a female MANDARIN DUCK dropping onto the main lake, surely the one that had the youngster here yesterday, looks like she may of lost the last one now.
During my afternoon Dragonfly / Butterfly hunt I saw plenty of both species, with Small and Large White Butterflies, Comma's, Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells, Gatekeepers, Small and Large Skippers, Purple Hairstreak, Holly Blue, Meadow Browns, plus my first sighting of both Small Copper and Peacock this month.
Dragonflies seen were :- 2 Brown Hawkers, Southern hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, my first Ruddy Darter of the year, and a Broad Bodied Chaser. Damselflies were few, but I found my first 2 Blue Tailed Damselfly this month, a few White Legged Damselflies and 2 Beautiful Demoiselles. Photographing any of them proved difficult, as they were very active in the warm sunshine, but here's what I got :-)
Immature Ruddy Darter
Broad Bodied Chaser
Large White pair