Monday, 1 June 2009

Birding in the Sun!

Painted Lady Butterfly
Common Toad

Yellow Flag Iris

Orchid species (Spotted Heath X Northern Marsh??)

Orchid species (Probably Northern Marsh)

1st June. What wonderful weather to begin June with. I took a walk on the patch for a couple of hours today have over the past few days only having had the chance to take a few short birding visits in fits and starts. Last Wed I was in the Rising Sun and found the grebe I had been looking for. Good numbers of Lesser Black Backed Gulls were about and a few Common Terns. I went down to Holywell Pond on the off chance the Spoonbill seen the previous day would still be there, it wasn’t! The only bird of note I found on a very short visit was the regular Great Spotted Woodpecker at the feeding station. After the rain at the Rising Sun the afternoon was sunny and warm. I did get talking to a guy who told me he had photographed Pied Flycatcher in the dene (at the culvert end) very recently! On Thur I had my first Painted Lady Butterfly (on Buddleia) on patch, whilst listening to the Whitethroat singing. On Sat it was back for a short visit to the Rising Sun where the only bird of note was another Great Spotted Woodpecker. The highlight of the visit was a large friendly Common Toad which was happy to have its photograph taken. I found an Orange Tip Butterfly, lots of Orchids which I still need to I D and Ragged Robin Lychnis alpina. The Yellow Flag Irises Iris pseudacorus around Swallow Pond appear to be at there best. Oh yes, and I found my first odonata of the year in a single Blue-tailed Damselfly.

Well, back to my walk today. I initially made for the Nuthatch nest hole and found a bird still visiting. It flew to the nest, but didn’t appear to be carrying food. I walked towards the smaller of the lakes and was surprised to find Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies in such large numbers. It was impossible to estimate numbers, but dozens of them, with many of them in tandem. I watched as they chased insects over the clear water. Lots of small fish and a young Eel were seen.

The female Great Crested Grebe is still on the nest with the male nearby. I later crossed to the larger lake and found another pair of Great Crested Grebe in courtship display as a Grey Heron flew over them. I found only a single Common Tern and a small number of House Martins and Swifts. There were families of Coot and Mute Swans, one Mute Swan with at least 8 cygnets in toe. I had forgotten my camera so was unable to photograph the numerous orchids on the edge of the lake. I’ll have to try and get back tomorrow.

I was looking out for butterflies but was only identifying Large and Small Whites until I eventually came across an Orange Tip Butterfly behind the village. I’ve seen more Orange Tip Butterflies this year I reckon, than I’ve seen in total previously. Perhaps I’m just concentrating more! I found a singing Whitethroat. I walked on further to the east. A couple of darker butterflies flew over the fields, but to fast for me to identify. I really do find butterflies frustratingly difficult to I D at times. By now I was very hot so decided to walk home. Not before hearing then sighting another two Whitethroats. I then picked up a number of Linnets and at least two singing Blackcap one of which began to make that unmistakeable alarm call. I tried for sometime to sight them, but couldn’t. It wasn’t until I walked on and turned back that I sighted one of them.
I’d be grateful if anyone can I D the Orchids


  1. Re Orange Tips, I get the impression from several bloga that there are more this year and in some areas that they've not been seen in before.

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  3. I agree re Orange Tips. Counted 20+ in half an hour at Prestwick Carr on 25th April and unlike previous years where they disappear after the initial influx, numbers have remained good