Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Hot Days on Patch 3

Wall Brown
Wall Brown

Painted Lady

Great Mulleins

8th Aug. The hot days just keep coming. I was off along the waggonway again today and numbers of butterfly seemed to have increased. Numbers of Wall Brown were way into double figures today, and I was so intent on trying to take a photo of these flighty butterflies I failed to confirm in my own mind, the sighting of Small Coppers. I’ll need to pay another visit t confirm. There were several Painted Ladies and numbers of Peacock today and other butterflies seen were Small White, Green Veined White, Red Admiral. Meadow Brown and Small Skipper. I failed to catch a photo of a rather attractive silver moth so it has gone unidentified. More and more these days I tend to stand (or sit) and let nature come to me so I spent a good a lengthy period of time in the grassy area and it paid dividends. This in my mind is the great advantage of being alone or at least being with a like minded person. The one major failing of being out with the group is the noise and chatter. The temperatures have steadily crept up over the past three days, and today was a scorcher at times.

I had found the Goldfinches still very active on the thistle seeds and in the same field were Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove and Stock Dove. Numbers of Greenfinch were in the hedges and Chiffchaff could be heard. Swallows flew overhead and of course the usual corvids where about.

I heard a Willow Warbler in full and continuous song as I came to the roadway. I eventually picked up the stunningly yellow bird in someone’s garden. I wonder if the residents were listening to the song. There is certainly a lot of movement of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff at present. I spotted a Chiffchaff in the hedgerow once I joined the second part of the waggonway. The usual Linnets and Yellowhammers were about and also quite tuneful. I’m looking forward to that flash returning.

It had been a wonderful walk with butterflies at every step and as I made my return walk to catch the football match on the T V, white butterflies were every where over the fields. A Kestrel flew off as I approached the roadway. There was no action as I passed the Sparrowhawk nest. The Great Mullein Verbascum thapsus which was growing in the hedgerow near by could not be missed. I made a mental note to get a photo another day, so much was the pull of the football. I can’t believe I’m saying that!

9th Aug. It gets hotter and hotter. This can’t last! Anyway I returned to take my photograph of the Great Mullein. I hung around for a while in the hope of seeing the Sparrowhawks, but to no avail, although the calls were tantalisingly close. More Peacock Butterflies too.

I have received my British and Irish Butterflies/Adrian M Riley. My first look over this book suggests that I have made an excellent buy here and it contains all I want about flight periods, larvae plans and food plants. I must admit I didn’t realise that there were so many sub species of British and Irish butterflies. I shall be getting stuck into this soon. To good and big to use out in the field though. Published in 2007 I guess it was like most books a little out of date even when published, but in these times of quickening climate change, that is to be expected. It’ll do me none the less. I’ve already picked out a field trip for the group to Cumbria next year which given decent weather and appropriate timing should bring us Scottish Argus and Dark Green Fritillary

My other new book, a late arriving birthday present as it happens is the double volume The Birds of Scotland/SOC. I’ve so far just had a quick look but it seems to me to be a stunning and informative book. Worth every penny (especially when you get it as a present and it’s someone else’s pennies) and it will get its place on my book shelf for ‘special books only’. I have some good winter reading material here.
10th Aug Well, it has rained today, so allowing me to sort my reports out.

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