Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Patch Birding and Small Pearl Fritillaries from the Mendips !

Date: 30th+ 31st May 2016
Location: Newton Park (Patch)
Fry's Hill - Cheddar Res & Chew Valley Lake
Weather: Blue Skies - Monday, Windy becoming Cloudy Tuesday.
Other Species: 
Patch - Bullfinch, GS Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Buzzard, Swift, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Kestrel, Buzzard, Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Marsh Tit, Tufted Duck 46 species.
Tuesday Butterflies:(Fry's Hill)
Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Speckled Wood, Small White 
A patch walk first having just got back from Portugal time to catch up! A great walk too with 46 species seen, all the normal stuff but nesting and fledglings everywhere .

Mute Swan on lake doing well with 8 Cygnets looking good !

To make it even better no students about half term and best time to visit lakes and patch and to make it even better 2 Tufted Duck on Top Lake! Not seen on lakes since 09/02/2011, takes our patch year tick list to...... 72 equal with 2014 and it's only June !! 

While watching Tufted Duck saw tiny Blue Tit squeezing out of nest hole! Also Treecreeper nest hole further round on patch and Green Woodpecker feeding young in another nest hole little un's everywhere !

Tuesday came and Butterflies on the menu, not literally! Still after small Pearl Fritillaries and Twitter mentioned Fry's Hill only 20 miles away so off I went. A big hill with stunning views over Cheddar Reservoir, found this chap a Drinker Moth Caterpillar 3" long massive!

Also a Puffball Fungus - Calvatia Gigantea I think ?

Lots of Orchids early purples and again great views but wind was fairly strong and not many butterflies on the wing.

Then a flash of orange and a Small Pearl appeared !! 
Whoohoo thanks to  for info much appreciated !

Wind was blowing so SPBF was low down in grass's but excellent ,while watching another appeared and settled a few meters away, stunning looking these Fritillaries !

Closer view, excellent and takes my butterfly count  to an all time best of 42 total.
 Wood White next! Walking back down hill saw Grizzled,Dingy, Brown Argus, Small Heath, Common Blues and Speckled Woods.

I'd parked at reservoir so a quick walk around these 2 Herring Gulls were paying close attention to Mallard chicks !

Also on the shore line this female Mandarin lovely, seemed to be paired up with the many manky Mallard on lake . Again thanks 

Plenty of Pied Wagtail about wagging their way around reservoir. Few Grey Wagtail but didn't see any White.

The Mallard Chicks keeping their heads down with an aerial attacks imminent !

On way home stopped at Chew Valley lake plenty of swift's about, Martins and Swallows but getting cloudy now so headed on home. A great day was had !

Thanks For Looking !

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