Friday, 31 July 2015

Alner's Gorse & Fontmell

Date: 30/07/2015
Location: Alners Gorse & Fontmell Down
Weather: Cloud, Slight wind but more sunshine ! 18c

Other Species Butterflies: Brown Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak, Brimstone, Red Admiral, Silver Washed Fritillary, Meadow Brown, Ringlets, Speckled Wood, Large/Small Whites, Large/Small Skippers, Small Blue & Dark Green Fritillary, Fontmell, Gatekeepers, Comma -16 Total Species.


Missed the Brown Hairstreak last week so of down to Alner's it was. On arriving struggled to park as grass verge very busy, but got in on end of line. Off down track and Brown Hairstreak were already spotted but couldn't locate so carried on around. At this point cloud was overhead and all seemed quiet got round to Buckthorn tree, couple of high up Purple Hairstreak so waited patiently. Then I spotted a Brown Hairstreak !

Almost open wing shot ! Nice

 Spotted 3 in all 
A great looking Butterfly !

Even the Purple Hairstreak came down a bit, still around 7ft into tree.

 I noticed the eyes, a sort of greyish sheen.
This one having a Jaws moment!

Looked hard for 'Valencia' Silver Washed Fritillary's but no good saw stacks of Silver Washed Fritillary's though.

Stayed for around 3 hours on leaving even more cars! Headed now for Fontmell in search of Silver Spotted Skipper, no joy :( Last year it was spotted on the 30th but nothing. In fact not much, no Common Blues, saw Small Blue but not much there. More cloud now and slightly more wind.

This, I think is a Common Footman Moth.

Quite a few Southern Hawkers about.

I'll try again soon ! This final Butterfly of the day Common but a stunner from any angle ! 
Red Admiral.

Thanks For Looking !

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Draycott & Priddy Mineries

Date: 28/07/2015

Location: Draycott Sleights then Priddy Mineries
Weather: Windy some sunshine later

Other Species ButterfliesSilver Washed Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Small Copper, Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Red Admiral, Small White, Large White, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Chalkhill Blue = 12

Sunny spells forecast but wind not good for butter-flying :( but headed to Draycott Sleights anyway saw around 6/7 Chalkhill Blues all hiding in grasses not really posing so headed up slope came to this Silver Washed Fritillary had another wander round but still to windy, wind was gusting at 15mph.

Thought maybe Priddy Mineries would be better, it was a bit,so headed into Stockhill Wood first and saw this lovely looking Large White.

Bit further on surprised to see this large skipper in the woodland .

Dark Green and Silver Washed Fritillary's Soaring through the glades. Also birds saw Goldcrest and Coal Tit and unknown bird of prey calling thought maybe kestrel.

Out on to the Mineries path, windy again. But this Small Copper stopped briefly.

Lots of mostly Small Skippers with Marbled Whites, Burnet Moths, Meadow Browns making the numbers

I really liked this shot, thought he was smiling I was as well ! :)...I'am now ! :)

Last thing of the day Common Darter landed on path, Nice :)

Thanks For Looking :)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Birding From the Window

Date: 28/07/2015

Location: Feeders - Home
Weather: Overcast 

Not done a feeder post from home for ages so here's what we had 30 mins Monday 2.30pm

First off as always Goldfinch usually 5/6 on tree, at moment few fledglings too.

Dodging the cats Magpie

Then A Great looking Bullfinch, he always lands first then his lady pops on !

See ! We've also had 2 juveniles with them in the last couple of weeks 

Not had many Blue Tits recently but today queuing up !

Coal Tit still about pops in gets a seed on off again .

Always a Collared Dove about sometimes a pair,
one eye open for Sparrowhawk !

Thanks For Reading !

Friday, 24 July 2015

Alners Gorse

Date: 23/07/2015

Location: Alners Gorse 
Weather: Very short sunny spell then cloudy - 20c
Butterfly Species: White Letter Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak, White Admiral, Silver Washed Fritillary, Gate Keepers, Peacock, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large White, Red Admiral, Marbled Whites +Small Skipper - 12

Observation: First time at Alners Gorse, Nice little place. Walked around reserve about 5 times. My first trip round was most successful with White Letter Hairstreak almost instantly at this point it was sunny and warm. Butterflies covering Bramble bushes mainly Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns 

My First White-Letter Hairstreak 

They seem to be very friendly !

Of the 2 White Letters I saw they spent most of there time heads buried in bramble heads.

Again White Admiral has holy wing, one week earlier next year me thinks.

Saw around 10 Silver Washed, when they stop soaring, Stunning !

After the fourth trip around still hadn't seen the Purple Hairstreak but after bumping into to 
Dr Martin Warren of Butterfly Conservation, only the Chief Executive ! He pointed in the direction of the magic Alder Buckthorn Bush And 6 Purple Hairstreak adorned the bush top ! Spent 60 mins watching and waiting for the sun.

Another Head on shot, difficult to get picture as perching at 7 foot and above.

Didn't quiet get the open wing shot but Purple Hairstreak !

Thanks For Looking !

Thursday, 16 July 2015

On the Mendips

Date: 15/07/2015

Location: Draycott Sleights - Black Rock & Priddy Mineries
Weather: Overcast, No Blue skies, Temp 20c 

Other Species: Green Woodpecker, Buzzard, Kestrel, Nuthatch - not bad for eyes on the ground !

Butterflies: Chalkhill Blue, Marbled White, Peacock, Small Heath, Skippers, Dark Green Fritillary, Meadow Brown, Ringlets.

Weather forecast said sunny spells but none of that overcast all day. On getting to Draycott quite a few cars there, a organised walk was going on.

But headed in and started looking not promising few Marbled Whites lots of Skippers and Meadow Browns, walked to top and round saw a Juv Green Woodpecker flew right in front of me and landed on small tree.

Then when just about to leave saw 2 Chalkhill Blues chasing each other .

After many more shots .......

Spotted a Yellow Shell Moth while looking saw the biggest Cricket I've ever seen ! Around 3-4 inches long, thats big huh! Looked it up it on internet was a Great Green Bush Cricket (Tettigonia viridissima)

After that headed to Black Rock Cheddar as just round corner. Not many butterflies here saw a pair of Nuthatches chasing each other, few Small Heath and Marbled whites. 

Thought on way back I'd drop in to Priddy Mineries,Glad I did. Walked through Stockwood Wood first but nothing so headed across towards pond lots and lots of Small Skippers, Six Spotted Burnets also Chimney Sweep Moths .

Just when I was thinking no Fritillary's around 2 flashed in front of me Dark Green Fritillary's nice looking butterfly and landed nicely.

Then it left the Red Clover and landed even better !

Thistles were packed with Marbled Whites and Six Spots jostling for position .

And home.
  Still no Hairstreaks :( well apart from Green.

Thanks For Looking !

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Full Patch Walk

Date: 14/07/2015

Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Drizzly Rain, Some Cloud + Blue Sky

Other Species: Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Raven, Buzzard, Linnet.

Butterflies: Red Admiral, Peacock, Small White, Large White, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Comma, Ringlet, Marbled White

Headed out on walk through Bath Mill building site, but soon to be finished! Up on to Dog track Small and Essex Skippers abundant with around 4 Marbled Whites and the same Ringlets. On out through wooded bit and on left by cherry tree and Damsons there were Long-tailed Tits, Chiffchaff's, Blackcap's Blue and Great Tits all juveniles like a little Crèche !

There was more Long Tailed but around 6 different species ! 

Juvenile Chiffchaff

Leaving behind the creche headed on to Byway this lovely looking Wood Carpet Moth  Landed briefly, it maybe Common Carpet but going on slightly darker band I go for wood ! :)

Not a fan of spiders but Still stunning a Nursery Web Spider, on guard.

 Towards Seven Acre around 20 Gatekeepers with Skippers and the odd Peacock

After watching Buzzards over Seven Acre and about 20 Swifts headed on to Village. Barn Swallows up and hunting over village but not much else @ Lake spotted this nasty little chap a Horse Fly sunning himself on bench, looks like he's got shades on !

On Lake Swan still with 4 young, spotted the Heron family with one juvenile.
On out through college no sign of Little Owls :( 
Saw around 10 Linnets couple of Yellowhammers and many Goldfinch on thistle heads.

Terrible sky raining at this point of walk :(

Saw 2 Whitethroat again juveniles .On way back 3 Ravens feeding in roadside field .

Thanks For Looking :)