Sunday 21st July 2013

   After yesterday in Northamptonshire, we spent the night in Norfolk and today at Titchwell RSPB, mainly. This used to be my favourite reserve, but even before the changes, it has gone down hill. It still attracts some good birds, but somehow always just lacks something it had before….
   There were plenty of waders, which included some Ruff, which were almost in summer plumage still. A couple of Spoonbills and a few Little Gulls were the best of the birds.

Spoonbill (Juvenile)
Ruff (Male)
Little Gull (1st Summers)
    We drove down through North Creake, just to see if there were any Montagus Harriers about. I had heard they had been around, but had been predated. It was still dull and windy as yesterday, so not really expecting much. While waiting, and despite the weather, there were some Moths and Butterflies around. Six-spot Burnet & Essex Skipper were both in one field.

Six-spot Burnet
Essex Skipper

Essex Skipper

Saturday 20th July 2013

   A bit of a longer trip today, Northamptonshire! Butterflies were the aim today, at Fermyn Wood. It is one of the best sites in the UK for Purple Emperor. There are also White Admiral and White-letter Hairstreak amongst many others. The weather was sunny and dry when we left home, but by the time we arrived it was dull and really windy! Oh well, no chance today then, i thought….i was wrong! Although it did take a while, the sun did come out, not fully, but enough, and the wind was not so strong in the wood itself.

   Sadly even though i was in the right places, i kept missing the Hairstreaks!!!!! A walk back along the track towards the car, saw me find at least 6 Purple Emperors flying, high up sadly, around an Oak tree. I managed to pick out a Purple Hairstreak on the same tree, and got it in the scope for others to look at. then our perseverance paid off. A Purple Emperor landed on the track where we were. My mum walked back to the car, and found 2 more further along the track, just 1 by the time i got there. As you can see from the photos below, the Purple is stunning, but only when it catches the light!!!
Dull brown job otherwise innit………..NOT!!!!!!

Purple Emperor
Purple Emperor

Tuesday 16th July 2013

Common Crane
   Slimbridge WWT after work produced nothing special, but a couple of fairly decent photo opportunities, from the South Lake. A Common Crane showed fairly well, although into the sun, and a pair of adult Lapwings were protecting a juvenile bird each, from Jackdaws who got too close!

Lapwing (Adult)

Lapwing (Juvenile)

Lapwing (Juvenile)

Saturday 13th July 2013

   A trip again to the Levels, but not until i had emptied the Moth trap! A good selection from last night, one new for the trap and a new micro too. See them all on my Moth Blog page.

   Sadly the trip did not live unto the Moth trap. The best thing to come from it, was a female Brown Hawker, which pitched up in a tree, in the shade sadly. But, not too bad i suppose!

Brown Hawker

Brown Hawker

Tuesday 9th July 2013

Large Skipper
   After work i arranged to meet a friend at Barrow Wake, Gloucestershire. To look for Musk Orchid. As i was a bit early, i visited Swifts Hill, on the way. Butterflies and Orchids were in good numbers. Will have to remember this place for next year…..
   I also had a lifer….Dew Moth, there were a fair few flying around!

Marbled White

Common Spotted Orchid
Dew Moth


   Onto Barrow Wake, and we found quite a few Common Twayblades, but no sign of the Musk Orchid. So, i made a phone call to a friend who is right into Orchids. He told me the area in which to look. He was right too! After that we found lots, not just in that area, but everywhere, brilliant!!!
And they are tiny too…………….

Common Twayblade
Common Twayblade

Musk Orchid

Musk Orchid

Musk Orchids

Sunday 7th July 2013

   Another trip to Ham Walls, looking for Dragonflies mainly.

  A juvenile Whitethroat, showed well and called near the hides and car park. At the hides i noticed a Gull on the raft, it looks like a Med Gull, i thought. A closer look from the nearer hide, and it was a summer plunged Mediterranean Gull. A very unusual sight for here, there are never many Gulls here, let alone Med Gull.
Mediterranean Gull

Mediterranean Gull

Downy Emerald (Male)
   Not much excitement after that, so we went off to Priddy pools. A male Downy Emerald landed in the grass for photos. Very nice too. Then i found a female too, sadly when i got closer, she was recently dead! I placed her in position for some photos below. Sadly the green eyes do not last, and go brown after death.

Downy Emerald (Female)

Downy Emerald (Female)

Downy Emerald (Female-Dead Eyes)

Saturday 6th July 2013

   A trip today, in the sunshine to the Somerset Levels, for some birding and some insect hunting!

   Ham Walls RSPB to start. a nice start too. Bittern & Marsh Harrier were the stars, but a family of Great Crested Grebes added the beauty factor!
Marsh Harrier

Great Crested Grebe
   Then off to Collard Hill, to see if the Large Blue butterflies were out. They were! Also there were some very nice Orchids.

Large Blue
Pyramidal Orchid

Wasp Orchid
Bee Orchid