Thursday, 8 June 2017

June Diary 2017 !

20th  Jun -  An early walk through the woodlands at 0700 hrs to give my dog some relief from the high temperatures was quite pleasant with the woodlands to myself for a change. lots of Birdsong, a few birds seen included Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Song Thrush, Great Tit, Ring Necked Parakeet. Butterfly sightings were mainly confined to Meadow Brown, Ringlets Large Skippers and the unfortunate demise of a Cinnabar, only the second seen here so far this year.

Cinnabar for breakfast

Worn Ringlet Butterfly

14th Jun -  The woodlands birds are still keeping there heads down at the moment, very difficult to catch a glimpse of anything at the moment, although a young Tree-creeper showing no fear, crept up a tree very close to me.

Butterfly sightings are sporadic at the moment, I have noticed more Meadow Browns appearing at the moment and the first Skippers are also starting to appear with this fine looking Large Skipper.

Meadow Brown
Large Skipper
Unusual to see fungi appearing in mid summer but this specimen caught my eye, not sure what it is though.

                                     A nice Swollen-thighed Beetle glistening in the sunlight

1st Jun - 8th Jun -  A quick review of recent life in the woodlands and surrounding parkland,  Bird sightings have been unspectacular, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Blackcaps appear to have stopped singing, Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jay, Ring Necked Parakeet, a Moorhen was seen in one of the Road flood relief pools near the car park, a few Swallow sightings around Jeskyns country park with a very obliging individual nesting in the rain shelter next to the park cafe.

Temperatures have dropped last few days and heavy rain has kept the Butterfly numbers down, for me anyway. Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and an uncooperative Painted Lady which hid in the centre of a huge nettle bank.

Red Admiral
Common Blue

Speckled Wood

Painted Lady

No sign of any Skippers as yet, but these small micro moths, a type of Long Horn Moth called  Nemophora degeerella caught my eye today, at least ten dancing around in the sunlight, the males with there very long antennae  looking very strange

Nemophora degeerella
White Tailed Bumblebee's seem very common at the moment with a few Red Tails being seen.

Red headed Cardinal Beetle seen in the long grass while looking for skippers.

A few Foxgloves have flowered in the last few days not so many as last year, and some lovely Wild Honeysuckle appearing around the woodland.


Wild Honey-Suckle

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

May Diary 2017 !

30th May - The woodland seemed alive with Blackcap song this morning and not much else, a few Blackbirds, Robin. In the glades a brief view of a Whitethroat, a Green Woodpecker disturbed from the grass.

As I checked out the long grass for any Skipper sightings, which were noticeable by there absence, I disturbed a small pale moth which I believe is a Small Emerald moth.

possible Small Emerald moth.
Along one of the trails this Dor Beetle or Dung Beetle was slowly crossing, well away from any possible cow pats.

Dor or Dung Beetle

29th May -  A circuit around the country park today in warm sunshine was different, lots of open land, meadows and glades. Red clover appears to have recently flwered and is attracting lots of Bumblebee workers, I noticed White-tailed, Red tailed, Early nesting and Carder. Butterflies seen today included my first Painted lady for this site although moving fast across the meadows, Speckled Wood and Small Heath, Common blue were numerous. bringing this years species sightings to ten.

Small Heath Butterfly

I also noticed this Silver Y moth sipping nectar from the Red clover flowers again very difficult to
get near to. as was the single Cinnabar flying towards the woodland

Silver Y moth

The Ox-Eye daisies and Red Campion made a colourful display along the edge of the glades.

At Henhurst Pond , a few Azure Damselflies seen and a brief look at a Moorhen family on the edge of the reedbed, seemed oblivious to the number of dogs slashing around in the pond.

Moorhen family

26th May -  Feels like summers here another beautiful morning with early morning sunshine, the Dog Rose's are flowering and adding a splash of colour to the hedgerows.

Not so many Butterflies today a few Speckled Woods, and two Common Blue, no sign of the Small Copper seen the other day.

Speckled Wood
Along the edge of the glades I disturbed my first Cinnabar Moth of the year, which led  me on a merry dance through the long grass as I tried to get a photograph.

Cinnabar Moth
24th May - Beautiful sunny morning where the emphasis was on Butterflies today, almost the first Butterfly seen which on first glance I thought was a Small Heath turned out to be a Small Copper, the first one I have seen here at Ashenbank woods, unfortunately I fumbled the shot which was very frustrating. Together with the Small Copper which was very restless and flew out of sight was a Common Blue Butterfly.

Common Blue

Along the trails two pairs of 'battling' Speckled Woods were seen, an attempt to photograph them in flight wasn't that successful, all the butterfly's seen today were very active.

Speckled Woods engaged in supremacy tussle.
Around the glades three Little Heath Butterfly's were seen and one Peacock. so five species today which is more than I have seen here on any one day so far.
the list so far for 2017 is as follows :-
Small Tortoiseshell
Red Admiral
Large White
Speckled Wood.
Small Copper
Common Blue
Small Heath
Painted Lady

These little 'Spiderlings  caught my eye today probably the offspring of the Common Cross or Garden spider

22nd May -Its that time of year again where woodland birds are getting hard to see, I did manage to get some good views of a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the old Little Owl Tree, Two Chiffchaffs gave some good views , but not much else, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Mistle thrush and Great Tit, Blackcaps could be heard singing but out of sight. The only Butterfly seen was a single Peacock, I did notice last years Honey Bee nest was very active once again.

This beautiful Copper Beech caught my eye the only one on the edge of the country park.

Copper Beech
Lots of Red Campion around the woodland and glades, strangely just one example of White Campion could be seen.

Red Campion
White or Bladder Campion.
20th May -  A beautiful morning, sun shining, I had high hopes for some butterfly sightings today, but disappointingly only a single sighting of a Large white which gave me the opportunity of a photograph.

Large White
Just a single Swift today hawking low over the glades, Blackcap singing but not seen.

19th May - Managed a quick walk around the woodlands between showers seeing three Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon and Magpie, a single Chiffchaff was heard calling, around the glades a small flock of Long tailed Tits were disturbed from the edge of the woodland, three Linnit and two Swift hawking over the glades, a Collared dove was seen up near the horse paddocks.
Three or four Early Bumblebee male were drinking nectar from a huge Cow Parsley plant on the edge of the fields, no Butterflies seen today.

Early Bumblebee male

15th May -  Some light rain for this mornings walk which for a change is quite welcome especially for the garden. No butterfly or Bee sightings this morning due to the damp weather, but a cacophony of bird song which made it interesting trying to pick out individual bird song, definitely heard Song Thrush, Robin, Wren and Blackcap. Other birds noted were two Swallows hawking over the glades, a Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Carrion Crow and two Cormorants flying over Jeskyns park .

 10th May - Temperatures creeping up today, not many Butterflies on show at the moment just one Red Admiral, same with Bumblebees just this very cold looking Red Tailed Bumblebee.

Red Tailed Bumblebee
Birds today included Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Wren, Robin, Great Tit,  female Blackcap, Green Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, two Whitethroats seen today, one in the reeds of the overgrown Ashenbank Pond. ChiffChaff heard,but not seen.

Common Whitethroat at Ashenbank pond.

 9th May - After a warm city break in Rome it was back to the  low temperatures of  this years late spring. in fact my old fleece was required for this mornings walk.
The woodlands are carpeted in Bluebells at the moment, I saw this distant Blackbird silhouetted against the Bluebells as I walked along the trails.

Other birds noted today were many Blackcaps singing unseen in the now leaf covered trees, the odd Chiffchaff could be heard but again not seen. not too many birds were on show a few Mistle Thrushs, Wren, Robin, Great Tit and Magpie. along the edge of the woodland a very brief glimpse of a Common Whitethroat before it disappeared into the thicket.

Common Whitethroat
Small flock of Jackdaws  moving through the long grass in the meadows.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

April diary 2017

April 28th -  Sightings are very repetitive at the moment, but Common Whitethroat back on its territory near Ashenbank pond was nice to see. usual Blackcaps singing all around the woodland, temperatures still a bit low for the Butterflies at the moment.

April 17th - Pleasant walk around the woodlands today, birds noted Blackcap singing, Chiff Chaff, Green Woodpecker, Blackbird, Wren, Robin. The cold nights have reduced the early morning Butterfly sightings,
A different Bee sighting today, one of the Mining Bee family, I suspect Adrena Nitida or the Grey Patched Mining Bee but not entirely confident.

A few Beeflys sunning themselves on the dead leaf litter.

These wild flowers caught my eye this morning
And I suspect this clump of Bluebells may be of the Spanish variety, not in the woodland but next to footpath along the edge of the glades.
possible Spanish Bluebell ?

April 7th - Back to the warm sunshine for today's walk, As I walked up past two Ponds I noticed the Woodland trust have been busy planting new trees in the areas cleared a few months ago, five very small saplings of unknown species with some serious protection around each one. The same in the other cleared area.

Bird sightings today included three Nuthatch's, a breeding pair in the previously occupied nesting hole, now three years in a row.

Blackcaps were very obvious this morning, the woodland filled with their song, ChiffChaff also heard.
Song Thrush, Blackbird, Wren, Robin, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit.Jay

Just a single Bluebell on display in the woodland, first of many I hope.

April 4th - Cold, wet, miserable, following the warm sunshine of the last few days, bird sightings today included, several ChiffChaffs, two male Blackcaps, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Linnet, Robin, Blackbird, several Song Thrush, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and a single Stock dove, a few Buff Tailed Bumblebees seen but no Butterflies today.

 April 1st - The warm temperatures of late have encouraged the spring growth, wild flowers are appearing along the trails, Butterfly sightings are increasing and have included so far this year, Brimstone, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, and a single Red Admiral. Same for Bumblebees it appears that the Buff Tailed Bumblebees are first to appear, I am now seeing my first Red-Tail Bumblebees and Tree Bumblebee's along with just one Bee fly.

Red Tail Bumblebee   Bombus lapidarius
Chiffchaff's are calling all around the woodland, sadly the Little Owl has not appeared at its traditional nesting site this year, first time its not appeared for five years.

In the grassy meadows I noticed the first Cowslips starting to appear.