Tuesday 20 July 2010

It was a warm and sticky day again today, but high thin cloud stopped the burning heat of the sun, so made it a more pleasant day overall.

A sighting of a HOBBY was very nice as I walked to work this morning, as was hearing a TURTLE DOVE singing from the north end scrub at Migrant Alley.

This afternoon I was back over at the Lakeside scrub, hoping, but failing, to find a Marsh Tit, will one turn up this Autumn ? Strolling around the Oaks and Brambles, it was evident that it was going to be a Butterfly day again, rather than a bird day, although I did hear SONGTHRUSH and BLACKCAP singing, and the NUTHATCHES called from somewhere in a large Oak. The water held just two MOORHEN, two MALLARD and a GREY HERON.

Purple Hairstreak butterflies were on just about every Oak tree I checked out, whilst Gatekeepers and Commas were also numerous lower down. A couple of Peacock butterflies were seen, and Meadow Browns were being flushed up every second step :-)

Whilst waiting for a Purple hairstreak to settle on some bramble, I noticed a large orange butterfly come down, I thought it to be another comma, but when I looked at it properly I was ecstatic, for I found it to be a Fritillary ( later confirmed as a Silver Washed Fritillery) What a find for my patch!! A complete lifer butterfly for me, it's great when you find these things for yourself, and they come to you on your patch :-) I manged a photo, but not as good a one as I had wished. Frustratingly, not once but twice it settled down so close to me that the lens couldn't focus, and in moving back a bit, I scared it away .

A few moments later, I looked up at a noisey helecopter, and saw a COMMON BUZZARD going over, only the second sighting this month - makes me wonder what raptors I miss with all this butterfly hunting lark :-)

Photo's today are of the female BULLLFINCH at my garden feeders........

...........and of the Grey heron on the largest of the 3 lakes, this is my only view of it before it flew off!

I couldn't resist some more butterfly shots, this Purple Hairstreak looks to be egg laying.

WOW!! A Silver Washed Fritillary ! Not much of a looker compared to some of the other butterflies, but this is a real good one to find.

Another orange one - a Gatekeeper

and to keep the Orangey theme going, a Comma

I also got a photo of this Southern Hawker Dragonfly, at least I think thats what it is. They dont often sit still for photographs.


Derek Faulkner said...


What a brilliant day, a day for remembering in the middle of winter. Its what patch watching is all about.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Well done with the SWF , a male , identified by the four black bars across the forewing .
Did you check for the egg that the PH laid ?
Confirm your immature Southern Hawker , identified by the broad antehumeral stripes behind the eyes .

Warren Baker said...

Cheers for all the Id confirmation Greenie - I did look for the PH egg but couldn't make anything out - not without my reading glasses :-)

Phil said...

Nice one with the SWF Warren. It's great to find something new.

Anonymous said...

Nice one with the SWF, Warren. Only ever seen them once and that was on a butterfly twitch to Oxon.

Pete Woodruff said...

All went to contribute to my slowly turning green with envy as I read your post for today Warren and I see you know why having visited Birds2blog.

ShySongbird said...

You had a good day there Warren! Congrats on the SWF, I still haven't seen one. I don't think I have seen a Southern Hawker either :(

Great photos throughout! A particularly smart Gatekeeper I thought.

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
I would have been pleased with your day today. Lovely shot of the S/W/F/Butterfly. Well done on getting a lifer. Well done also with the C/Buzzard.
A good day for Butterflies and a nice record shot of the Southern Hawker Dragonfly.

Kelly said...

Wow, Warren! Your butterfly shots are gorgeous. Sounds like you had a very good day...hope you have another lucky day tomorrow!