Friday, 12 July 2019

Natures Jewels

Date: 30th June - 11th July
Weymouth, Bridgend, Newton St Loe, Sandpoint, Draycott, Savernake
Blue / Mid 20's but cloudy and muggy.
Species Highlights: 
Lulworth Skipper, Little Tern, Common Tern, High Brown, Purple/ White Letter Hairstreak, Yellowhammer, Hobby, Grayling, Essex Skipper, White Admiral, Emerald Damselfly.

Its that time of year when butterflies our my main target, so first trip was for the Lulworth Skipper and Portland Bill, Very easy, park, 5 steps and Lulworth Skippers!
The Lulworth Skipper once you get your eye in are fairly easy to spot, flying slightly differently and the C marking making them stand out from the Large and Small Skipper.

This shot showing the tiny Skipper extracting Pollen from the Field Scabious.

But as usual plenty of birds around the Bill with Linnet.

Skylark looking for easy pickings amongst the Lulworth feeding grounds

From here we stopped at Ferrybridge to look for Little Terns, it was not long before we spotted them flying over Chesil Beach looking for food.

This Greater Black Backed Gull was on the prowl.

With up to 50 adults pairs lots of youngsters could be seen, keeping the adults busy.

When leaving we spotted the Kestrel feeding on what looks like a chicken Chick??

Lodmoor our next stop and Common Terns/ Black Headed Gulls making a right racket.

A constant stream of adults with Sand Eels and other small fish.

Plenty of squabbling looking spectacular!

That was Monday on Sunday with Allan Chard we headed over to Bridgend and Old Castle Down for the High Brown and Dark Green Fritillary. A seemingly perfect day but for some reason Dark Greens & Hg's not showing well making it very hard to get views of either.

After some 5 hours and 7 miles of walking the ferns these were my best efforts.
Dark Green Fritillary.

Stonechat keeping a eye on us.

I saw a few High Browns but this only picture, a poor effort, but this Thistle will feature again.

Head on Dark Green Fritillary

So Tuesday was at a end, not happy. 
So Wednesday I went back only, didn't see a single sole there either which was a good job as I forgot my hat, but with a pink camera cloth on my head I managed my best ever views of this Yellowhammer who it seemed he couldn't see me, Camo??

Again walking and searching was thinking i'd never get views of the High Brown when I checked in on the thistle id seen a HG on yesterday.

A High Brown was on it, open wings so I waited for it to return, High Browns came back 4 times to this same thistle, all open wings was just about to give up after over a hour of waiting when I got the shot I wanted!

Thursday was patch walk day started off with Whitethroat and Blackcap in the lanes towards seven acre.

Was very pleased to see White Letter Hairstreak and Purple Hairstreak in their normal spot.

We had a response from the Duchy about the cutting down of almost all of Seven Acre. It was all done under Forestry commission licence.

 "Tree's will be restocked: Oak – 50% / Small leaved lime – 10% / Beech – 10% / Mixed native broad leaves – 15% / Field maple – 5% / Hazel – 10%. These species will ultimately provide a more varied habitat for a diverse range of wildlife, avian, mammals and any other wildlife that will benefit."

So I suppose long tern this will be good but still a shock to see our forest cut down.

Very quiet on the bird front on my walk to Lake but Butterflies everywhere. But once at Lake and sitting down spotted what I thought was a Sparrowhawk.... Nope a Hobby hunting over top lake!!

Giving me fantastic views but photography was into the sun, but stunning to watch for a hour catching many of the Dragonflies which were hawking over the lake.

A dragon in each talon and one in beak!

Emerald Damselflies, Brown Hawker, Emperor, Black Tailed Skimmer plus many Common Blues Damselflies. 

A good selection across lake.

Work for next few days but Sunday headed down to Sand Point NR. Weston Super Mare for a search for Grayling and Essex Skipper.

Once on the Point was astonished by the numbers of Marbled White and Meadow Browns they seem to be having a excellent year, I've even seen one in my garden this year!
But Grayling spotted whizzing across the landscape being chased by 2 more.

Essex Skippers too on the excellent rocks and Flowers.

No better place to be.

Saw at least 10 Grayling and 15 or so Essex Skippers.

ID tip looking at Essex Skipper from below, check for totally black tips to antenna, almost as though they've been dipped in Black paint, they also fly quicker than Small Skipper.

I dropped into Draycott for a early Chalkhill but nothing going on, maybe this week ?

Monday was suppose to be Purple Emperor day but with butterflying you never know and dispute checking out Savernake, Everleigh Ashes and Black Dog Wood we came away with very little. 
We will try next week.

Tuesday I thought id stay local and headed to Lords Wood again the weather was very muggy and butterflies not really showing so turned my hand to Dragonflies/ Damselflies.

A Emerald Damselfly female


So colorful.
You don't normally see the colors and details as they're usually zipping about.

But a 100mm macro lens and patients.

Loving my macro lens, all shots are handheld.

The only butterfly which landed was the stunner a Comma.

Walked about yesterday, Thursday and looking at the smaller things again.

Loved this Shot the Thick-legged flower beetle- Oedemera nobilis covered in Pollen.

Was almost home a this Stunning Crab spider caught my eye, I've never seen one with this red flash, this one called a Flower crab spider.

Nature's perfect.

2019 Butterfly Ticks - 52

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