Sunday, 30 June 2013


A bit more variety at the pond this morning with 3 Common Sandpiper and a Dunlin trying to find a shoreline to land on in toft bay before eventually giving up and leaving eastwards. Other sightings included 4 Yellow-legged Gull ( adult and three 2nd summers), 2 Great-spotted Woodpeckers and a Sedge Warbler. Both Common Blue and Meadow Brown butterflies were out flying before 7:30 am.
Rest of the morning spent looking for butterflies adding Marbled White and Ringlet to the year list while Broad-bodied Chaser and Southern Hawker Dragonfly noted.

Saturday, 29 June 2013


Day spent celebrating Dave and Christine 40th wedding anniversary.

2013 and after 40 years of abuse the belly can't take it anymore

Friday, 28 June 2013

Brandon Marsh

In between the showers we managed 2 Oystercatchers, 6 Teal, 8 Gadwall, 2 Common Tern, 20+ Sand Martins and a few Whitethroats before giving up.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

more Yellow-legged Gulls

At least 5 Yellow-legged Gulls resting on various buoys dotted around the pond with 2 adults and 3 second summers this morning. Only other birds of note were 5 Buzzards and a Sedge Warbler. Other sightings included 10 Common Blue butterflies, 3 Yellow Shell and a Common Blue Damselfly.
record shot of Sedge Warbler by Bob Hazel

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

South again for Orchids

Bob surprised me with a trip down south looking for orchids managing eight species along with 4 species of moth and 5 species of butterfly while over head there were at least 40 Red Kite and 6 Buzzard.

Orchids found were Fly, Bee, Pyramidal, Greater Butterfly, Common-spotted and Military Orchid plus Common Twayblade and White Helleborine. The best butterfly was a Green Hairstreak while moths included an usual colour form of Green Carpet.
Fly Orchid

Greater Butterfly Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

Scorpion Fly
all pics by Bob Hazel

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Catch up

Apart from breeding birds it’s gone very quiet on the birding front locally with only a Common Tern at the pond on the 20th, sod all in very blustery conditions yesterday and today all we managed was a Garden Warbler and Raven. On the garden front Bullfinch, Coal Tit and Green Woodpecker have been visiting mine this week.
Luckily the overnight temperatures over the last few days till last night has produced decent numbers of moths so that has kept Bob and I busy with identification of some of the smaller ones and photography, Dave added 3 micro moths to his garden list while I managed my first Companion.
Scorched Wing


Bee Orchids are finally showing at a number of places while out of the county some of our more interesting species are starting to flower.
Burnt Orchid

Fly Orchid

Fragrant Orchid

Military Orchid

Musk Orchid
all orchid pics by Paul Cashmore

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Stockton again

Did not think the pond was worth the effort so spent the afternoon visiting Stockton Cutting and Tasker Meadows in very humid conditions with intermittent sunshine which produced a varied amount of fauna and flora with butterflies represented by Small White, 10 Common Blue, Small Blue, 2 Dingy Skipper, 6 Grizzled Skipper, 4 Brimstone and Small Heath.
Moths included 6 Silver Y which probably came in on the warm air over night from the continent, Straw Dot and Red Twin-spotted Carpet.
Failed to get to grips with my first dragonfly of the year as it made a quick dash across Tasker Meadows but there were plenty of newly emerged White-legged Damselflies along with smaller numbers of Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies.

Birds included Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Buzzard and the usual orchids found.
Greater Butterfly Orchid

Early Purple Orchid

Grizzled Skipper

Dingy Skipper
all pics by Bob Hazel

Monday, 17 June 2013

Yellow-legged Gulls

Three Yellow-legged Gulls were at the pond this morning when Bob and I walked out to farborough spit (2x2nd summer’s and an adult) along with 2 Buzzard and a Common Tern.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Pond and Stockton

The wind abated overnight and made a lot of difference in butterfly numbers even though the temperature remained only in the mid-teens.
Common Blue was by the visitor center, Draycote Water by 8am but the only bird life noted was Mistle Thrush, Garden Warbler and Whitethroat.
After the ‘Diner’ we visited Stockton Cutting and Tasker Meadows managing first for the year Small Blue and Large Skipper plus 6 Large White, Peacock, 3 Dingy and 5 Grizzled Skipper, 3 Small Heath and 15 Common Blue while moths were represented by 2 Cinnabar, Burnet Companion and Evergestis pallidata. A few Common Spotter and Butterfly Orchids were out along with a single Early Purple Orchid. Unfortunately the sun did not encourage the dragonflies out so made do with a few Common Blue and White-legged Damselflies. Nuthatch heard.
Apart from the usual warblers at Napton Reservoir we added Brimstone and Orange-tip butterflies to the day list.

This Red-necked Footman was an unusual find in Ryton Woods being out in broad daylight.
Red-necked Footman by Terry Southgate

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Orchids south of the county

Explored around the south of the county looking for orchids with Young’s Helleborine starting to wither and another site had 9 Man Orchids. Other orchid species included hundreds of Common-spotted Orchid with a lone Early Purple Orchid among them and a few Common Twayblades. The windy conditions kept the temperature down so the only butterflies seen were 2 Common Blue, 2 Speckled Wood, Small White and 6 Large White. Also noted were Yellow Shell, Burnet Companion and Clouded Silver but hardly any bird life worth mentioning.
Man Orchid by Terry Southgate

Friday, 14 June 2013

Brandon Marsh

2 Oystercatchers, 2 Redshank, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Common Tern and 5 Great-spotted Woodpecker along with few Common-spotted Orchids.

Thursday, 13 June 2013


Brief walk to farborough spit at the pond only produced 2 Common Tern, plenty of young wagtails and 2 Buzzard in very blustery conditions.

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Pond and Jacobite

Draycote Water had adult Yellow-legged Gull, juvenile Yellow Wagtail and 2 Red-legged Partridge when we walked out to farborough spit this morning.

I’m grumbling about the lack of sunshine while Bob recently had snow to contend with in Scotland when he went to see K1 Class 62005 “The Lord of the Isles" pulling The Jacobite Fort William to Malliag train over the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct.

Sunday, 9 June 2013


We took another trip south – this time for orchids finding 5 species on the steep slopes of Hartslock near Goring on Thames, Oxfordshire over looking the River Thames managing 8 Red Kite, 4 Buzzard and a Corn Bunting on the way down.

At least 2 Lady Orchids, 30-40 Monkey Orchids and 3 White Helleborine showing well in overcast conditions on the reserve among a few Common Twayblade and Common Spotted Orchids. Another 6 Red Kite seen plus Green Woodpecker and 2 Raven. Two Small Heath butterfly's showed briefly. 
Monkey Orchid
Lady Orchid
Moved over to the south side of the River Thames to visit Lardon Chase where it warmed up a bit but the promised sunshine failed to show for very long so apart from 10+ Red Kite, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 4 Buzzard, 40 Common Blue, 3 Yellow Shell, Garden Carpet and a few veneers there was no sign of the hoped for Adonis Blue.

Friday, 7 June 2013


LNER A1 Class 4-6-2 no 60163 Tornado was transferred with her support coach from Crewe to Southall and scheduled to stop in Rugby for 13 minutes but due to being 26 minutes late they clawed some time back by releasing her after only six minutes.

Tornado by Bob Hazel

Tornado by me

Latest Moth images

Poplar Hawk-moth


Mullien 2nd record

216 Nemapogon cloacella

892-Mompha subbistrigella
All from Dave's trap this week and kindly taken by Bob Hazel

Space Shed time

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Union of South Africa

LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 no 60019 Bittern [4464] which was due to haul The Cathedrals Express London Euston to Chester steam tour was unavailable at the last minute so she was pulled instead by LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 no 60009 Union of South Africa. She arrived nearly on time and filled her tanks with water before continuing. Two Peregrines were mobbing a Crow overhead when she left.
In the evening I met up with Dave, John, Bob Alfie and Ma & Pa Phillips to watch her return but for some reason she was delayed 16 minutes at Rugby before heading south.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Pussy in the trap

One of my holy grail turned up in the trap with my first garden and county record of Puss Moth. A real stunner despite a worn head and was larger than I expected. Bob came round to take images before leaving for the pond while I had a cardiology rehabilitation appointment. Bob managed a few pictures of a dusky Canada Goose at the pond which has returned from last year.

Puss Moth

dusky Canada Goose

Six-spot Burnet

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The last three days

June 2nd
After a poor visit to the pond a Curlew flew over Southam Quarry towards Long Itchington and the only other sightings of interest was of a Grizzled Skipper and Raven in Ryton Woods.
Grizzled Skipper
June 3rd
Gentle stroll out to the screen at Brandon Marsh with Mark produced 3 Hobbies and a Holly Blue plus a few Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselfly plus Banded Demoiselle.
Blue-tailed Damselfly by Mark Phillips

June 4th
Two Common Terns and 4 Buzzard at Draycote Water in a brief visit with Bob this morning and a Hobby flew over Northampton Lane, Dunchurch as we passed through. Holly Blue in garden this afternoon.

The Cathedrals Express London Euston to Chester hauled by LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 no 60019 Bittern [4464] is due to arrive at Rugby at 10:21am and leave at 10:36am heading north on the Trent Valley line on Thursday 6th June.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Duke of Burgundy

Well at least the month started on the right footing with pleasant weather for my first trip out of the county for some time looking for butterflies and whatever else came our way.
Final butterfly count was poor with 2 Duke of Burgundy, 2 Small Heath, Green-veined White, 2 Large White, Speckled Wood, Brimstone and Dingy Skipper in two hours of searching. Our search also produced 6 Common Carpet and Burnet Companion while on the birding front we had 2 Red Kite, Buzzard, Raven and many Garden Warblers and Blackcaps.

Duke of Burgundy fritillary

We called in on College Lake on our way home but nothing special of note just a few nesting Common Tern, Redshank and Lapwing plus a single Little Ringed Plover. Large Red and Common Blue Damselfly present.

A Cuckoo flew across the road near Wilstone Reservoir and 6 more Red Kite near Stoke Mandeville while a Hobby flew over the garden this evening.