Sunday, 18 June 2017

Sunday June 18

A very hot morning. Dave and I decided to walk along the road in the hope of some shelter from the heat, although this meant we were walking back at the hottest part of the day across the fields. Strategy is not our strongest suit.

We saw plenty of butterflies including our first Ringlets and Marbled Whites of the year. The sunshine and heat made them very reluctant to settle though. The flash field was hiding whatever birds were in it due to the long grass. We eventually discovered there were at least 40 Lapwings and not much else.

Dragonflies were also well represented, and were slightly more obliging than the butterflies. We saw at least three White-legged Damselflies.

Female White-legged Damselfly wafting its pheromones about
Also new for the year were several Black-tailed Skimmers, Emperor Damselflies, and Common and Ruddy Darters.

Immature Ruddy Darter
Common Emerald Damselfly
We were the only species to note the presence of so many dragonflies. I spotted a falcon circling a little way south of us and called it as either a Peregrine or a Hobby. While I struggled to get my scope up Dave stayed on the bird. It got closer and was firmed up as a Hobby, the first of the year.

We also kicked up several moths on the walk around, the most attractive being a couple of Blood-veins.

A quick look at the main pool resulted in the discovery that the Mute Swan pair has successfully hatched a single cygnet.

Mute Swan and cygnet
Finally, it is strange to relate that throughout the whole of the ten years we have been coming here we have never proved that Pheasants (or Red-legged Partridges for that matter) manage to breed successfully. I have always wondered if the population is totally reliant on autumn releases. Well this morning we came the closest yet to proving Pheasant breeding when we were confronted with a female Pheasant which stood its ground along the edge of the ridge field, making strange clucking noises.

The bold Pheasant
We felt sure it was signalling to chicks somewhere in the grass, although we couldn't see them.

The final unusual sighting of the day was a Painted Lady which flew past us at the Dragonfly Pools.


  1. Hi Richard

    Read your Blog 'religiously' and enjoy it very much. Have taken photos of Pheasant chicks in our garden (nor Wilmcote) if you would like to see them? Saw c 5 originally ... one seems to have survived predation ... so far !

    1. Hi Andy, sorry for the delayed reply. Very pleased you enjoy the blog, and very impressed that you have Pheasant chicks running around your garden. Going away for a while, but will be blogging again soon.

    2. So all the UK butterflies are with you then !!