Friday, 29 March 2019

The Butterflies are coming!

Date: 25th -27th March
Somerset Levels, Newton St Loe
Blue skies and rising temperatures
Species Highlights: 
Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Garganey, Chiffchaff, Marsh Harrier, Lesser Scaup & 
Monday Morning was forecast to be blue skies and sunshine so we headed down to the Somerset Levels, We drove along North Chine Drove and were rewarded with a Red Kite and 27 Cattle Egrets just below Mudgley. Our first stop was Westhay it was very quiet so after a brief wander we Went to Ham Wall.
Lots of calling Chiffchaff, Blackcap & Butterflies making a lovely spring spectacle.

The Garganey was sleeping so views were limited.

But while sat in the Tor hide a bonus Bittern could be seen sat in reeds.

A brief flight and dropped it into Reeds, then started to Boom immediately.

From Shapwick we had some distant views of the Glossy Ibis, so small, it got spooked by a Great White Egret.

A highlight of the day was a displaying Male Marsh Harrier, swooping and soaring over the reed bed with the female high above watching her mate.

Trailing cob webs.

We watched a Great Crested Grebe fishing below the hide amazing to see it change position under water, very agile!

OOOoo European Peacock just showing off. Brimstone, Small White were also seen today.

Still looking for better shots of the Garganey we headed around to Catcott, unfortunately no more were seen but 3 Great White Egrets were having a battle this one launching to attack.

On way home we dropped into Cheddar Reservoir the Male Mandarin was present still looking splendid.

After a long walk around this female Goosander was the best of the rest.

Tuesday after the sunshine we'd been getting i was feeling lucky so wandered around Bath Mill and up to Seven Acre woods in search of butterflies, not disappointed. Brimstone's in good numbers.

A few Small Tortoiseshell.

Plus 2 Orange Tip 5 days earlier than previous years (I have records since 2008)
Still very flighty but managed a few decent shots.
Feeling very happy a Speckled Wood Landed in front of me (21/03/2016 earliest) just to top day off.

Wednesday I went to Chew Valley and Blagdon a brief song from a Willow Warbler but many Chiffchaff and Blackcap's singing.

This male Greater Spotted Woodpecker busily feeding, it had a ring but couldn't quite read it (8278?)

Lots of Bee Fly hoovering around lake, this one the Dark Edged Bee Fly.

Went for another shot at the Lesser Scaup, always a bit distant but with perfect light i waited enjoying the sunshine.

It didn't come any closer after watching for 40 mins so I left heading home to see if i could improve the  butterfly count on my patch.
Had a walk around Patch and only thing of note was Swans top lake seem to be nest building(work still ongoing on Dam)

On the Butterfly count It turns out I could, 2 Holly Blue seen, high up near transmitter in Seven Acre and 5 days earlier than 2017.

Speckled wood seemed more settled today giving me a opportunity at open flat wings.

European Peacock

Comma, a little worn this one.

Small White first picture of the year for this very fast moving individual I'm sure they'll settle down.

Wayne Year bird List: 138
Lauren Year Bird List: 132

The first 10 for me 
Butterflies :10 species

Red Admiral, Large Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Brimstone, Comma, Small White, Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Holly Blue.

Lauren Butterflies 5

Thanks For Looking! 
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