Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Slimbridge, Rodborough Common, Cotley Hill, Stonehenge, Weymouth

Date: 19-23 April
Location: 
Slimbridge, Rodborough Common, Cotley Hill, Stonehenge, Weymouth
Species Highlights: 
Lesser Whitethroat, Cettis, Butterflies, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Fulmar, Gannet, Swift.
Observation: 
I do work honest! But I seem to be darting all over the place at the moment, it's great!
                                     On the 19th headed up to Slimbridge mainly to get a few butterflies but started early so dropped in to Slimbridge first and first picture of the day was a Holly Blue not expected, this took my 2018 butterfly quest to 7 species it's been a slow start.


Plenty of little ones around these Coot chicks, only a mother springs to mind!


Spent a couple of hours watching the wildlife fly by.


With the day warming up and blue skies I headed off to Rodborough Common in search of Green hairstreak a species which in 2017 i had 8 days earlier.


After walking almost the entire hill in all the spot i'd seen them previous years i finally found one. I saw around 4 in the end, the next day 20+ were seen. This my 8th species.


Lovely Meadow Pipit on the common.



Then the weekend interrupted and work, see i do work after 5 hours sleep we got up sunday a went down to Cotley hill, Wiltshire for some more butterflies but spotted this lovely Common Lizard on way up hill.


After a short walk we found around 8 Green Hairstreaks looking stunning in the sunshine.


 Was really pleased to also get a Green Veined White and Large White taking me to 10 species.


Lauren mentioned the Bustard at Stonehenge so 20 mins later we were searching Stonehenge, free access via the byway ;)


No Bustard but a great Starling.


A beautiful Pied Wagtail was the best, but good to see the Stones.


Monday arrived and we'd planned a trip to Weymouth as the previous days plenty of birds were arriving at the Bill, so a early start and by 8am we were walking along Barleycrates lane and down Reap Lane. It all seemed very quiet! first bird to photography was this M'pipit.


Fulmar were nesting along the cliff edge plus a few Gannet, Razorbill and Guillemot.


The other birders we saw also said how quiet it was so we drove down and parked on Sweethill road and walked down towards the Bill, still quiet hardly anything about, it was very windy so maybe this was putting everything off? 
After some chips a few Wheatear kept us entertained this male just stunning.


After around 4 hours we drove to Ferrybridge caught up with 2 Little Terns plus 4 Sandwich Terns a few Dunlin on receding tide but that was it.


Lodmoor next and not even out the van Lauren spotted Swift, 13 birds swooping over the reserve.


Sanderling, Common sandpiper and this Grey Heron struggling with this Eel.


After 10 minutes he managed to swallow it.


Plan was to drop in to Radipole for a Mcdonalds at teatime so headed around reserve first, and what a plan as we bumped into this Lesser Whitethroat a lifer for Lauren. 


While congratulating each other this noisey Cettis popped up and posed, you don't see that every day!


House Martin, Barn Swallow and Sand Martins were seen buzzing over the lakes, Mcdonalds for tea. We had walked 12 miles so deserved.



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