Sunday, 2 July 2017

Sunday July 2

A warm sunny morning with a light south-westerly breeze. Dave could not attend so I decided to try to count the butterflies along the usual circuit. The flower-rich grassland and hedgerows are excellent for butterflies at this time of the year, and I ended up with the following counts:

110 Meadow Browns
167 Ringlets
6 Gatekeepers
6 Small Heaths
11 Large Skippers
26 Marbled Whites
36 Small Skippers
5 Large Whites
1 Small Tortoiseshell
7 Essex Skippers
1 Painted Lady
1 Comma

So the vast majority were brown ones, and I am sure I missed many more than I saw. I also stopped to take a few photos.

Large Skipper
Small Skipper
Essex Skipper
Essex Skipper (same insect as previous shot)
Marbled White
Painted Lady
This post is turning into a butterfly festival, so I should mention that other creatures were seen. The water level in the main pool was very low, and the mud had attracted two Little Egrets, and two adult Little Ringed Plovers, while a juvenile Little Grebe was floating in the deep end. The cygnet is still alive, but I'm not sure of its prospects if the site continues to dry out. Five juvenile Starlings were a sign of early autumn.

One of the Little Egrets took to the dead tree

Little Ringed Plover - adult
Little Grebe - juvenile
The flash field pools contained 33 Lapwings, three Teal, and three more Little Ringed Plovers, two of which were juveniles. Could they have bred here?

Little Ringed Plover - juvenile
One of the Little Egrets called when it chased the other, a sort of "kark" like a cross between a Grey Heron and a Muntjac. I cannot remember hearing one before.

Other insects seen included a hoverfly called Marmalade Fly and a Lesser Marsh Grasshopper.

Marmalade Fly
An enjoyable morning.

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