Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Purple Emperors @ Fermyn Woods then Turtle Doves @ Otmoor.

Date: 18/07/2016
Location: Fermyn - Otmoor - Farmoor Res
Weather: Blue Skies 16 Degrees at 7am Rising to 31 Degrees!
Other Species: 

Fermyn Woods ( Northants)
Silver Washed Fritillary, Ringlets, White Admiral, Purple Hairstreak, Meadow Brown, Small White, Large White, Red Admiral, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Gatekeeper, Purple Emperor, Comma - 13 Species
Otmoor : 
Reed Warbler, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Turtle Dove, Red Kite - Of Note. 
Farmoor Reservoir: 
House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Common Tern, Cormorant - Of Note. 

Observation: 
On my Butterfly Quest the Purple Emperor was still on my hit list for 2016 and after a failed attempt at Bentley Woods I could hear Fermyn calling! I know its 2hr 50mins away from Bath but seemed the best option. Fermyn Woods in Northants seemed to be all over Twitter with some cracking shots showing up, so after a bit of persuading Lauren (daughter) decided to come with as long as a few birds were also included in the day so plan was Fermyn then Otmoor near Oxford for a look for Turtle Doves.

On arriving at Fermyn, parking roadside near the Gliding Club was plentiful (NN14 3JD). Once out the Van the temperature was heating up and a few other people were looking for the Purple Emperor.. Wonders! Plenty of Silver Washed Fritillaries about saw around 10 plus White Admirals x3. All the other woodland and common species also but apart from a fleeting fly by no Purple Emperors on the ground, continued along the glide heading for Souther Wood, people were saying for sure here. So upon taking the right fork once in wood I missed the first almost standing on it!

First one Lauren's as she saw it first!



Once we saw one they seem to dropping down from the tree tops all along the path.


Plenty of closed wing shots, but no open wing shots try as we may.


We used no baits and no secrets chants! Maybe that's why no open wing shots? Temperature was very warm now around 28 Degrees - 29 Degrees. Lots of people around some groups of people all standing around his majesty but we were lucky as got a few all to ourselves. Finally seeing about 7.


Here's A Short Video of Purple Emperor: Video Links YOUTUBE

After many high fives! We headed down to Otmoor for the Turtle Dove as the RSPB have been doing some good work to help this endangered bird.
1 1/2 hours later we arrived temperature on way down was now 31 Degrees at one point! We entered the small car park and headed on to reserve, on walking up main path almost immediately could here the Turtle Doves making their distinctive purring sound but couldn't see them. Saw a distant Marsh Harrier quartering over reeds then saw Turtle Dove fly past and towards car park! We decided to carry on for hide, a long path and very warm but not much from hides. So headed back to look again for Doves.

Lauren managed a flight shot, this is Turtle Dove flying back towards car park!



But our patience paid off as one of Turtle Doves came back to Oak Tree, into sun but pretty decent shots.



Heard 2 Turtle Doves while there one alongside reserve path and other was on MOD land other side of car-park.


Time now about 4:30pm so instead of getting stuck in traffic decided to stop at Farmoor Reservoir. Great move as these little fellas were buzzing about all over lakes!


The House Martins were collecting Lichen from lake side they must have 'lichened' it!!



Even a couple a little one's, this one looks a bit sad!



Also on lakes were these Common Terns screaming overhead, adults collecting fish and youngsters chasing after!


Looked so cool!


To end, Lauren's shot, all in all a great day a Purple Emperor ticked! Turtle Doves ticked (although we've seen in Portugal a UK tick always good) 
Also blue skies and summer finally here! 
                                                                                  


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