Friday, 25 May 2012

At Home with Nature

24th May.  Yesterday was remarkable in two ways.  First of all I mowed the lawn, secondly, it was another hot day!  A couple more days like this and no doubt we’ll be facing another drought crisis………despite it having rained for two months!

Fear not, my day wasn’t wasted, as I had two unusual visitors to the garden in the shape of Holly Blue Butterfly and Hummingbird Hawkmoth.  The latter I believe is the first one I’ve ever seen.  Holly Blue Butterfly has visited before and I recorded it a few years ago.  Neither the moth nor the butterfly was around long enough for a photograph although I read that it is common for the moth to return at a similar time to the same spot so I’m keeping an eye open.  The butterfly landed very briefly on a holly bush at the bottom of the garden, but otherwise fluttered above the hedge line before disappearing against the background of a blue sky, as is the general behaviour of this species.  I assume it was a female looking for a spot to lay eggs.

Yesterday also provided me with the opportunity to photograph Blue Tits carrying food to a brood in a decorative nesting box.  Not the type I would buy personally, but given as a gift and it has served its purpose well.  I’ve noted both Magpies and next doors ‘moggies’ keeping an eye on the adults flight.  I have no hatred of cats, but do have some hardened Satsumas at hand, purely as a deterrent.

Garden Birds

Early evening saw me down at the lake for a short spell.  It looked almost Mediterranean.  I watched the Great Crested Grebes and found one of the Common Sandpipers and the Little Grebe that Sam had alerted me too yesterday.  It's certainly he that has put the effort in this week!  We saw two Common Sandpipers yesterday and had a wonderful sighting of Reed Warbler in the sun.

Down by the lake

I seem to remember that it was the night before that I heard in complete blackness, a brief piece of song from a Song Thrush.  I’m used to hearing Blackbirds and Robins during the night, but I can’t say I’ve heard Song Thrush at such a time before.  I’ve noticed several Song Thrushes about the area of late.

Sam and I were at Holywell on 22nd May and spent a very atmospheric evening down there.  Many displaying Common Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and other warblers down there now.  We watched Dipper and Grey Wagtail in a dene looking more and more like it’s summer and had numerous sightings of Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  I know there are two pairs of woodpecker down there and thinking there may be more.  We had no luck with owl sightings on this occasion. We did stumble across several nesting sites of other various species.

I was able to spend a short time at Prestwick Carr on 23rd May.  I had no luck in finding Redstarts, but did find a single Whimbrel near Canada Geese.  The bird took off and flew close by me and seemed to flutter like a butterfly for a second or two.

Holywell Dene

I always take the line that there is little need to travel far to watch and enjoy nature.  This week underlines that principal.

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