Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Rodborough Common, Gloucestershire 1st August 2015

Hi, 2 days ago I went to the National Trust site, Rodborough Common, which turns out to be famous for its Butterflies. The day started off slowly with us being sitauated along side at least 100 other people. Not giving a damn on what they might be disturbing!

Six-Spotted Burnet and Marbled White were the first few interesting species of the day, with the Six-Spots almost flying constantly in search of a mate. Roesel's Bush Cricket quickly followed with one nestled in between thousands of other Meadow Grasshoppers. While looking at thistles a moth popped up and after other people finding them and posting them on the internet I instantly knew it was, a Dusky Sallow, a first for me! One surprising find was a female Emperor quartering the grassland just in front of us, a bit lost I expect!

After having lunch we decided to walk it off by trekking round the less disturbed hill sides. This was when the first few Essex Skippers started to appear and a distant Blue started to take shape fleeting round at a pace.We carried onto the spot we took sight of it then suddenly loads started to come round. At first I believed it to be the generic Common Blue. However it came clear to me, we're on a hillside and it's made of chalk, chalk + hill + blue butterfly = Chalk Hill Blue! Finally one of my most wanted finds had arrived in force...

It has to be the most characteristic species of chalk hill landscapes... Out of the hundereds of Males we only saw 1 female sitting quietly by the side of the path, suggesting the other Females were hiding deep in the herbage surrounding us. I only had one thing I couldn't identify, this Beetle... Any help would be greatly appreciated!

One thing that brought a smile to my face was the lack of other paths spilling out from either side of the main one. Obviously people knew not to disturb the pristine habitat that was situated beside them.  Next year I have to come here earlier on in the hope of finding the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, what a sensation that would be!

Pleasant walk and well chuffed to have seen the Chalk Hill Blue!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

1st August 2015 Ringing Swindon STW déjà vu!

unfortunately and rather frustratingly I have lost all photos from the second half of the week on Coll! Thankfully most of the action came from the first but still many memories lost :(

So after my posting being so abysmal recently, I have decided to start from a fresh and keep it up from now on.

Yesterday saw Matt, Anna, Noah (and his Mum), Simon (and his mate) take to the sewerage works for a CES session. This was to be my first of the year even though this is the ninth to take place. It is all down to me being available for Sundays and them being the day for Tree Sparrow nest boxes, which is by no means a bad thing! Today (for me) one bird stole the show and brought back déjà vu from when I was that age! That being a year ago, so not too unbelievable...

But this was where Matt had managed to catch one of the most trickiest birds in the book. The Green Sandpiper, but all of us round the ringing table had ringed it apart from the newcomer, and friend Noah! He started near enough the same time as I did, only a year later, and at this point as with me was when I first laid eyes (and hands) on a Green Sandpiper! Freaky but just shows you how affective Matt has become with catching these freshwater Waders.

Going back to previous events we also caught a Kingfisher which happened to fly into our nets yesterday as well, although two yesterday, highly peculiar! 
Matt educating Noah as well as me with his recently ringed beauty.

Trying to make the Green Sand look good without putting it in an uncomfortable position is a struggle!

One pose many Wader ringers utilise.

Kingfisher from this year, shame it was out of focus, all pics from phone.

My Kingfisher not best pleased with Paul!

Overall the day was great with some major catches of recently fledged juveniles. 2 Lesser Whitethroats was another highlight!