Thursday, 11 August 2016

Butterfly 47 plus a Osprey from Shapwick

Date: 11/08/2016
Location: Fontmell Down + Shapwick Heath
Weather: Very Windy 15 mph at Fontmell cloudy then overcast Shapwick
Other Species: 
Fontmell  Butterflies: 
Small Blue,Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Chalkhill Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver Spotted Skipper, Small White.
Birds Fontmell :
Linnet, Yellowhammer, Kestrel, Redstart.
Bird Shapwick:
Osprey, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Little Egret, Great White Egret.

Weather forecast looking good for Silver Spotted so headed down to Fontmell down, but as i drove down weather turned very windy with gusts to15 mph not good also cloudy !!! But made the effort and after 2 hours it paid off, just !

The Silver Spotted takes my yearly total to 47 Butterflies, need one more this year 
Clouded Yellow for 48.
Next year i'm 50 years young, so going for the 59 butterflies in the uk i hope !

Here a close up of the Dark Green Fritillary which kept flying past me until it landed in a very brief period of sunshine .

Only saw one of these, but Small heaths 3 or 4, 1 Small Blue a few Whites but Butterflies not really showing well on Fontmell today.

The ones that were showing well were covered in red parasitic mites. These parasites Trombidium breei feed on the blood of the Butterfly, seen them before on Chalkhills and Marbled Whites, apparently more common on the males.

Anyway after 2 hours up and down the hills time for a change but on way out the Linnet's were posing nicely in bushes so a few shots of these and decided to head to Shapwick in Somerset .

Went to Meare Heath hide first and saw some very distant Marsh Harriers in fact saw 2 plus a squabble between 2 Marsh Harriers and the reason i came the Osprey ! Nice to watch but distant.

The Osprey had just caught a fish from Meare Heath side as i arrived in Noahs hide.

While watching caught view of i think a Sandpiper in middle of lake ,distant but thought weird as no shallow water for it to feed ?

Any hoo but to the Osprey and light was terrible but target acquired !

After watching for some 20 minutes it decided to go catch another fish so took flight.

I also left after it disappeared but as i joined main track back to car Park spotted it flying to Meare Heath !

Still distant for my 400mm but better light and a cracking view as a Marsh Harrier decided to join it for a while then it disappeared over the back of Meare Heath, i Also left at this Point. 
A nice day was had and talked to some nice people : )

Thanks For Looking !

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