Tuesday, 30 June 2015

I had a delivery of our top quality organic veg & fruit to do in Southampton today which was handy as a Monarch butterfly was reported from Lordswood Road mid-morning. I stopped off on the way to the delivery but no sign although there was a Silver-Washed Fritillary in amongst the many Meadow Browns and Small Skippers. Back again after the delivery and it appeared my luck was out as I'd just missed the Monarch so off homeward I went...until I saw a tweet from David Stevenson that it was on show! U-Turn!! On arrival again no sign!! But then someone told me that it was in the top horse paddock where I'd seen the Fritillary earlier in the day, hmm...worth a look anyway I thought...

And so I went to ark the van more carefully than at the Cemetery Gates and bingo! Got out of the van and the Monarch was fluttering around on a small piece of grassland about 10 yards away. Good views were had as it was chased by and chased some Meadow Browns. A stunning creature! Of course, it may be an escape, release, ship-assisted or genuine but whatever I'm glad (really glad actually!) that I saw it!


Monday, 29 June 2015

Here are a few from Eartham Woods & Graffham Down at the weekend. I did wonder if I was posh enough to go on a butterfly walk at Graffham...the answer was "No you're Not!" ;-)

Agrimony "Church Steeples":

Large Skipper on Bramble:

Ringlet on Bramble:

Poplar Hawk Moth:

Privet Hawk Moth:

Small Skipper on Common Spotted Orchid:

Marbled White:

Friday, 26 June 2015

A days butterfly seeking was fairly successful. At Cissbury Ring, Small Heath, Common Blues, flotillas of Meadow Browns, Small Skippers and two Dark Green Fritillaries. Annoyingly, no photos of the DFGs as they just wouldn't land and to be fair I was distracted by a Yellowhammer at one stage.

Small Heath:

Silver-Studded Blue:

Golden-Ringed Dragonfly:

Sunday, 21 June 2015

I picked up on a Tweet from Nick Bond saying that a Terek Sandpiper of all things was at Church Norton, a few quick texts & calls confirmed the news and I was on my way. Tipped off that the car park was chock a block, I cycled part of the way down Rectory Lane and nearly got wiped out in the process! Fortunately I only had to scrape myself off part of the wall after swerving to miss a driver, no harm done though and he apologised so fair dos. The bird showed fairly well early on but much better later; an unexpected lifer for me.

Terek Sandpiper:

Terek Sandpiper the video here: Terek Sandpiper

I've seen nearly all the UK orchid species back when I used to twitch plants more than birds & butterflies but it was still nice to see the Bee Orchids & Pyramidal Orchid at Pagham RSPB.

Bee Orchid:

A good day on Friday at Fort Widley tons of Meadow Browns out as well as the target Marbled White. At Iping, I couldn't find any Silver-Studded Blues this time but there were a few other bits, see below:

Marbled White:


Meadow Brown:

Clouded Buff Moth, Iping:

Beautiful Demoiselle:

Saturday, 13 June 2015

An Eastern Black-Eared Wheatear was put out on Twitter at 11:30 today; the bird was present at Acres Down in the New Forest on the path down from the raptor viewpoint and initially had disappeared. Although I had decided not to go for it, on the way to Selsey I got stuck behind the ever delightful Maurice & Doris in their Nissan Micra doing all of 20 mph top whack...40 minutes to Selsey or 40 minutes to lifer? No brainer I believe the expression to be. Photos and video were hampered by the heat haze and I've yet to see any that do this stunning bird justice though I'm sure some will emerge. Today I lent my scope to at least four people so they could get better views than with bins and others were putting people on the bird as they arrived; this gives the lie to the person who called us all "selfish twitchers" for not immediately getting out of his way at the Minsmere Bluethroat (despite getting great views himself, hypocrite).We love you all as someone once said :-)

Black-Eared Wheatear:

Video here: Black-Eared Wheatear

Friday, 12 June 2015

After the butterfly success earlier in the day (see previous post), I went back to Church Norton for a better look at the Hudsonian Whimbrel, a half-decent photo at last:

Hudsonian Whimbrel:

Video of the bird here: Hudsonian Whimbrel
Went over to Surrey today to Wrecclesham Sand Pit for the Glanville Fritillary butterfly. Introduced to the area originally in 2001 and then possibly again in 2011, the population now appears to be self-sustaining with at least 14 individuals sighted last week. The only problem is that the quarry company who own the site are not prepared to grant access to butterfliers so if you go do prepare yourself for getting asked to leave in no uncertain terms! There is apparently a local action group fighting for the Sand Pit to be a reserve and I wish them much luck with their struggle.

Glanville Fritillary:

Also present, good numbers of Large Skippers and Common Blues.

At Stedham, plenty of commoner moths but not a lot else. The Adder was in its usual spot:

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Picked a good day not to have the camera in the van! A Hudsonian Whimbrel was well found by George Kinnard at Church Norton today, crap iPhone pics below, might go back for better if it sticks!! (It did see below).

Hudsonian Whimbrel:

A better one from this morning, light not great though:

Sunday, 7 June 2015

No sign of any Silver-Studded Blues on Iping or Stedham Commons in the last few days for me but there have been Painted Ladys (or Ladies not sure what the correct plural would be), plenty of moths including Brimstone Moths, Speckled Woods and Large Whites.

Painted Lady:

Speckled Wood:

Painted Lady:

On the bird front, great views of male & female Nightjars and Woodcocks at Lavington on Friday.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

A few  butterflies from Kithurst the other day:

Small Blue:

Green-Veined White:

Dingy Skipper, somewhat worn:

Green-Veined White:

Monday, 1 June 2015

A beautiful female Red-Footed Falcon was found near Barcombe Mill in East Sussex over the weekend, an absolutely stunning bird:

Red-Footed Falcon: