Wall Brown Butterfly
Painted Lady Butterfly
View from waggonway (al a Seurat).
Well after an 'event' full weekend and the concerns I had over the possibility of Holywell Birder possibly still hanging upside down from the the Tyne Bridge on Sunday evening, I felt the need to relax today. Thankfully, the event at the Rising Sun Country Park passed of successfully and Holywell Birder, as you may have noted, is not still hanging from the bridge. What a relief! :-)
My relaxation began with putting a few plants into the garden, and whilst doing so a calling Oystercatcher flew overhead. This gave me a garden and a patch tick! I thought it might be my lucky day so I set off along the waggonways. As far as birds were concerned the Oystercatcher was to be the highlight of the day! There just wasn't too much about bird wise. The only warbler song I heard was from a Chiffchaff. Swallows flew and swooped all along the waggonway and judging by the state of some of the butterflies, the Swallows had been chasing them.
Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet and Goldfinch were about in numbers and I caught a quick snatch of Yellowhammer song. A Kestrel flew high in the sky and the usual corvids where around. Oddly enough I don't remember seeing any gulls, although perhaps I was too busy chasing butterflies of which there were many, but more of that anon. By the time I was approaching the Holystone end of the waggonway I had found a solitary Lapwing, although I'm sure that there would be many more hidden in the now long grass. The area is hardly recognisable now as the spot I watched the Short Eared Owls earlier in the year and the flash is absent. A male and female Pheasant flew low over the fields and there were several Stock Doves in the field, there green collars looking wonderful as the sun struck them. The Wood Pigeons lifted as I approached and there was a lone Collared Dove on the wires.
Butterflies were the stars of the day. There were Small and Large Whites everywhere and I thought that was all I was going to see until I found a Large Skipper which I initially though was a day flying moth. The farther end of the walk brought numerous Painted Lady Butterflies, probably the most I have ever seen at one time, Small Tortoiseshell and several Wall Browns. Best day I can remember having had locally for butterflies for some considerable time. I did manage some not too wonderful photographs of all species.
Part of the walk held some rather nice Germander Speedwell Veronica chamaedrys and Herb Bennet Geum urbanum in the hedges. More and more Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium is now in flower amongst the fading Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris and I also noticed some Ground Elder Aegopodium podagraria. I like to take note of the umbellifers and have been told that they are the LBJs of the botanical world!