Monday, 29 July 2013


Again another why are we bothering visit to the pond with single Yellow-legged Gull noted before the rain arrived.
Popped down to the station mid afternoon to see 70013 Oliver Cromwell arrive behind class 47 No 47245 nine minutes early heading for Southall and took many of its admirers by surprise when it left 27 minutes before scheduled leaving time eventually arriving 75 minutes early at Southall so had a clear run.

A very smart Drinker moth was in one of my traps this morning.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Insects galore

Overnight thunderstorms failed to turn much up at the pond so with the unusual record of 10 male Pochard flying over the visitor center and 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls the visit was a disappointing.
After breakfast we livened the day up with a visit to Harbury Spoilbank where the place was alive with insects. Butterflies seen were Common Blue, 25 Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary long past its best, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, 46 Peacock, Green-veined White and Small Tortoiseshell while moths included amazing numbers of Silver Y with 28 counted along with 3 Cinnabar, 2 Shaded Broad-bar, good numbers of Six-pot Burnet and 3 Yellow Shell. Also Blue-tailed Damselfly and Black-tailed Skimmer noted.

JJ spotted this Canary while on his dog walk near Long Lawford this morning.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Birding in July

Birding took a back seat this month as the weather was more suitable for my other hobbies but my travels did give me an opportunity to catch up with some of the New Forest specialties like Dartford Warbler, Woodlark and Nightjar while a twitch to the Farne Islands found me enjoying a number of sea bird species while watching the Bridal and Roseate Tern, while up north I also took the opportunity to visit the Filey area and enjoyed good views of Minkie Whale.

Locally then Draycote Water has been quiet with the odd Black Tern, Common Tern, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Ringed Plover going through with the rarest being a Wood Sandpiper at Brandon Marsh.
Yellow-legged Gulls dominate the roost at Draycote.

Dragons and Damsels in July

Took the opportunity this month with the nice weather to search locally and travel further a field to Hampshire, Northumberland and Yorkshire seeing a number of different species this month. Many thanks to Paul Cashmore for his images.
Emerald Damselfly

Keeled Skimmer

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly

Southern Damselfly

Large Heath

Silver-studded Blue

Moths in July

Still 6 nights to till the end of the month but with this prolonged warm spell its fast becoming a record month with 9000 moths of over 270 species trapped so far between Dave's and my traps averaging just under 400 moths per night.. At least 9 species new for Dave and 6 for me. With so many to choose from I have picked 
just a few of the hundreds of pictures Bob has taken.
Muslin Moth
Peach Blossom

White plume Moth


Large Twin-spot Carpet

Leopard Moth

Lilac Beauty

Scarlet Tiger

Yellow Shell

Clouded Border

Steaming in July

Pretty quiet on the steam front till BR Britannia Class 7MT 4-6-2 no 70013 Oliver Cromwell and SR Light Pacific 4-6-2 no 34067 Tangmere and their support coaches were hauled by unknown class 66 on Thursday 26th which passed through Cathiron heading north for Crewe two minutes ahead of schedule.
Oliver Cromwell is due to return on Monday 29th stopping at Rugby between 15:49 and 16:17 pm.


Oliver Cromwell
Amazingly there were over a 1000 Large White Butterflies flitting about when we walked to the footbridge.

Bob saw Great Western Railway Class 2884 2-8-0 No 3802 on the Llangollen Railway while holidaying in Wales recently.

Monday, 1 July 2013


Five male Common Scoter in the center of the pond were very actively feeding and preening while only one Yellow-legged Gull (adult) was present at 10am in rainbow corner and the only wader was an Oystercatcher going over.