Friday, 29 June 2018

Newton St Whoo-Hoo

Date: 28/06/2018
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Blue skies, Very warm 27c

Species Highlights:
Purple Hairstreak, White Letter Hairstreak, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer, Buzzard, Kestrel, Skylark, Swift, Barn Swallow, Reed Warbler.
Observation: 
Day off from butterflying so off on a long overdue patch walk, Skylark were singing so high up, couldn't even see them, but could hear a large group of Swifts screaming across the fields.


So fast, buzzing over Seven Acre wood.


It's never a day off from butterflies! Yesterday went up on the off chance of finding a few butterflies and was amazed to find first a White Letter Hairstreak then Purple Hairstreak!! These are brand new addition to our patch a normally I travel to get pictures of them, so very happy to find them myself. Went back up today and got some better pictures, Purple Hairstreak on Elm Tree on corner of Seven Acre.


Saw at least 3 individuals. But at 11am couldn't re-find the White Letter hairstreaks but had picture from day before, so here's another Purple.


Carrying on around wood and avoiding dog walkers! A single Yellowhammer could be heard. Just before Globe look out spotted this tiny fawn, I think also escaping the dogs, unsure where to go I waited for him/her to disappear into the hedgerow.


Didn't want him to run into Main road some 50yds further on.


On out through Village a small group of Barn Swallow sat on wires with only 5 House Martin seen possibly feeding?
Down through Send a Cow woodland Blackcap heard but little else seen until this very fresh and drying its wings Meadow Brown.


Bottom Lake was a surprise to see this Black Headed Gull who normally depart lake March and reappear in August! 2 birds seen, a few Mallards with now older young and Jenny the Mute swan from upper lake still on Lower Lake.


Female Emperor Dragonfly Laying Eggs, if you look rear end you can see egg.


Top Lake still low, with 4 Grey Herons, 1 still in nest plus Mutes have lost a ygnet, apparently a few days ago the cygnet got caught in Pond lillies and struggled for 2 days!!! Someone from college phoned RSPCA who wouldn't come out to help, the Cygnet has since been removed from lake, very sad. Also a Grey Heron chick fell from nest and died this also has been removed, nesting and young a very hazardous time of year.


Walked up to top pond as this time of year always good for dragonflies, great to watch this Four Spotted Chaser chasing & squabbling with the much larger Emperors.


Again Emperor dragonflies egg laying the male defending his mate constantly buzzing anything that moved near her.


My plan today was to retrace my tracks and head towards the Boathouse via River Avon, so spotted this Mallard Mum on the old Swan Nest protecting young from the circling Lesser Blacked Gulls.


Also above lake this beautiful Buzzard.


Down through Manor farm and through Corston Village more Barn Swallows here than at Newton Farm shop, still a practicing farm so more food no doubt. 
Blackcap & Chiffchaff calling on river edge, the main reason for the longer walk is to check on Reed/ Sedge Warbler which we found last year. Unfortunately could only find Reed Warblers 2/3 bird heard and seen.


A few more Dragonflies seen this Scarce Chaser giving me the eye. 2 more Grey Heron river side too.


Not one of our swans, I don't think but near the Boathouse pub.


Time was ticking by and had work tonight so headed towards home but not before returning to Seven Acre, while checking brambles on edge of wood right in front of me was this stunning White Letter Hairstreak, excellent.

So that was my walk 9.5 miles and great to be back on patch the next few weeks more butterflies to see, just 9 more species, a trip to Lake District, Lulworth, Northamptonshire, Dorset and Oxford left.

 Butterfly list for today.
3 Purple Hairstreak ,1 White letter Hairstreak, 10 Green Veined, 40 Small White, 4 Large Skipper,  25 Meadow Brown, 7 Comma, 10 Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral.


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