Friday, 10 August 2012

Waders, Moths and Butterflies

9th Aug.  Once Sam and I had put the finishing touches to our presentation (i.e. added some of Sam’s class photographic images) due to take place at the Rising Sun Country Park on Saturday, we headed off towards St Mary’s Island.

Plenty of waders but not a lot of chances for photos.
On arrival the sun was shining and the day warming up.  Very good in one respect, but not so good in another, in that it encouraged everyone else out too!  One group that had been let out to play was the local boy/girl racers who may have wallets stuffed with notes, but brains stuffed with cotton wool.  At one point their noise ensured there was little chance of the waders settling down.  Happily the waders were around far longer than the racers.  We gained some nice sightings (if not too many decent photos) of flocks of Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin and Turnstone.  Also seen were a few Redshank and Curlew.  Golden Plover numbers seem to be growing steadily and many of them could easily have been missed as they were as usual so well camouflaged on the rocky islands.  In fact I’m sure most folk were completely unaware of their presence.  There was little in the way of bird life to be seen over or on the sea.  Common Terns and Sandwich Terns flew north and south along the coastline.  I almost forgot that it is around now that Roseate Terns ought to be appearing near St Mary’s Island.  The tide was well out so we were there at the wrong time to get decent sightings anyway.  Happily good sightings of them have been had earlier this year.

Plenty of chances with the Burnet Moths however.

A rather faded Common Blue Butterfly at not the best of angles. 

Rather a better result with the Meadow Brown Butterflies.

As the afternoon progressed the sun became brighter and can you believe we suddenly realised we were in danger of sunburn.  Now hasn’t that concern been a rare one this summer?  We suddenly become aware of numbers of Burnet Moths that began to appear everywhere.  I’ve never seen so many of them ever before.  It gave some grand opportunities for photographs.  Another thing that is a rarity down on our coastline is someone wandering around with a butterfly net.  I can’t recall that last time I witnessed that.  As well as the Burnet Moths we found a good number of butterflies in quite a small area.  Those seen were Large Whites, Small Skippers, Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue, Meadow Brown and Small Heath, and I think Ringlet.  The Common Blue that I managed to photograph appeared to be well worn.  I’m surprised at the scarcity of the Common Blues as I’ve seen them in larger numbers in this area on previous occasions.  To cap it all I have had the first butterflies of the year on the butterfly bush back home.  These were a single Large White and a single Small Tortoiseshell.

We did see a Kestrel hovering over the wetland area, but our minds having been taken by waders, a visit to the lighthouse and then the butterflies and moths, ensures we completely forgot to take a closer look at the wetland area.

It looked to me like a really nice day to be out on the water.  That wasn’t to be for us, but we did have a very enjoyable wander anyway.  Wandering like this at a slow pace has been my style this year and I’ve always found this is what I most enjoy and what is often the most rewarding way to spend time.  It was too hot to move fast anyway!

1 comment:

  1. Nice that you saw a good number of butterflies (and Burnet Moth), with there being a shortage of them lately.