Monday, 30 June 2014

Large Blue

Trip to Gloucestershire to see Large Blue managing to find 3 despite another day when the predicted sunshine failed to materialise.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Six-belted and Pyramidal

Little Ringed Plover and 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls were at the pond this morning but the promise of warmer weather this morning wasn’t quite up to expectations with too much cloud cover but we still managed to lure with the help of pheromones a Six-belted Clearwing out which was a new site record for me at Stockton and it showed twice briefly but soon realised there wasn’t a female around and disappeared. Clearwings are a day flying moth but so elusive that you have little chance of seeing one without the use of pheromones. Had our first county Pyramidal Orchid of the year and our first Common Darter of the year with 2 observed.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Duchess and Muslin

A Cuckoo was calling and 2 oystercatcher’s flew over while Dave and I waited for the ‘duchess’ at Brandon Wood bridge to pass in very dull conditions with heavy rain threatening. She (LMS Coronation Class 8P 4-6-2 no 46233 Duchess of Sutherland) had a good head of steam going when she appeared but alas I cocked my first picture up so had to rely on John and Dave to save the day. Moved on to Marton where another Cuckoo flew across the road in front of us towards hangings spinney and 2 Raven were over Long Itchington.
Duchess approaching Brandon Woods bridge by Dave Cox

unknown diesel bringing up the rear

5 minutes later she is approaching Rugby dwarfed by the cement works
by John Judge
Moths continue to keep us occupied with the monthly macro list just 4 short of my record with just a couple of days to go while Dave trapped a Round-winged Muslin which was not only a new species for his garden but his 650 species as well – me - I’m just on a mere 575 in comparison.
by Bob Hazell

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Chalky and Turtle

As the morning warmed up we gave Yellowland a good search including the old railway workings managing over a 100 Marbled White's and even more numerous Ringlets and Meadow Browns but the highlights of the day were 2 Chalk Carpet moths a Nationally Scarce B species and a calling Turtle Dove. Other species of interest included Lattice Heath, Small Blue, Small Skipper, Six-spot Burnet, Black-tailed Skimmer along with a few Bee Orchids while birds included Great-spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Jay.

Sunday, 22 June 2014


Two Little Ringed Plover on the sailing club shoreline was a surprise while the only other birds of note were 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls and 68 Greylags which included many juveniles of different ages. Weather was so warm that 15 Meadow Brown's were on the wing by 8am.
Good numbers of Black-tailed Skimmer's at Napton Reservoir along with a few Emperor Dragonfly's and a single Common Tern

With ideal conditions the moth trap at home is heading for a record monthly catch with 109 macro species caught so far - the best being my first Scarlet Tiger bringing the garden list up to 576.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Aston Rowant

What a way to spend a Saturday –beautiful scenery from the Aston Rowant NR, surrounded by 100s of Pyramidal and Fragrant Orchids, dozens of Red Kite’s overhead and the hum drum noise of the M40 not to far away just to remind you your on planet earth.

Other new species for the year this week have been Chimney Sweeper at Draycote Meadows, 8 Dark Green Fritillary at Harbury Spoilbank and Ringlet at Stockton Cutting supported by hundreds of Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns. On the birding front only Yellow-legged Gulls seen 3 times at the pond is worth reporting.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Southern Damselflies & Black Hairstreak

 Visited two Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust reserves near Oxford today with Dry Sandford Pit producing two hoped for Southern Damselflies while Whitecross Green Wood had the delightful Black Hairstreak with 3 on show though 12 had appeared yesterday. Plenty of year ticks as well with Emperor Dragonfly, Southern Marsh Orchid and Marbled White plus good numbers of Meadow Brown, Large Skipper and Red Kite.
Black Hairstreak
Black Hairstreak - that's the problem being a short-arse the bushes are to tall for us midgets

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nene Wash

Having been under the weather for the last few days we decided on a bit of fresh air at March Farmers on the Nene Wash where there was still plenty of water allowing us good views of 6 Spoonbill and 15 Little Egrets that were grouped roughly together when we first arrived. Also noted were 2 male Garganey, 20+ Black-tailed Godwit, plenty of Redshank, the odd Gadwall and a single Wigeon before a Red Kite stirred up a hornets nest flying over low, a wing-tagged bird it continued on to play havoc among the many Lapwings present further west of the wash. After brunch we had 3 Crane, 4 Marsh Harrier and a Hobby plus many more Little Egrets and added Meadow Brown, Red-eyed Damselfly and Black-tailed Skimmer to the year list.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

A varied Week (pics)

Green Tiger Beetle by Paul Cashmore

Military & Fly Orchid, Chiltern

Small Blue nr Southam by Paul Cashmore

Bee Orchid by Paul Cashmore

Greater Butterfly Orchid

Friday, 6 June 2014

A Varied Week

Locally there not much to report away from breeding schedule 1 or scarce county breeding birds so it’s been a varied week with a orchid trip to the Chilterns for Military and Fly Orchid, evening visit to March farmers for Red-necked Phalarope and Spoonbill and a twitch to Norfolk for the Spectacle Warbler which was only my second record. When the weather has been kind then butterflies have been out in force with good numbers of Common Blue and Small Blue at a number of sites with Small Heath and Large Skipper added to the year list while day flying moths like Treble-bar and Yellow Shell have been recorded in double figures at one site. Hairy Dragonfly are still showing and now joined on the wing by Four-spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers plus a bonus with good views of the stunning Green Tiger Beetle. On the mothing front it’s been a week of good and bad catches with plenty of new for the year species but nothing special but it has not been all fun as I foolishly failed to go for a county tick in the form of a male Red-backed Shrike preferring to stay in and finish my Great Grey Owl painting – what a twat.