Wednesday, 23 July 2014

More SWF!

 A second Silver Washed Fritillary was found today. This time a male and in much better condition.
 It was constantly flying between the Buddleia and chasing other large butterflies, no doubt looking for a mate.
 Black streaks on the upper forewing indicate a male.
 Not a pristine specimen, but interesting to think that we have had both sexes in the same area.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Silver Washed Fritillary.Site tick.

 It was a real shock when I went looking for Scarce Tortoiseshells on the land behind my house and instead found a very worn, probably female Silver-Washed Fritillary.
It seemed to be missing most of its hind wings, but there was just enough to make a positive id and discount Dark Green Frit. The image below was helpful.
 Not a pretty site , but I bet she was a beauty in her prime!
After spending time on Buddleia and Bramble she relocated to Dave Wrights garden and some Wild Hemp Agrimony.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Duck Rescue!

 After a 0730 phone call from a neighbour I found myself rescuing a female Tufted Duck and her brood of five. I went armed with a bucket for the ducklings and remarkably the female let me pick her up.
 Never one to miss out on a ringing opportunity the adult was quickly processed.
 Hey mum we want some Bling!
Then it was down to the reservoir and off on some more adventures. I am sure there is just a hint of a Thank you from Mrs. Tufty! 
It was a surprise when 15 minutes later I found myself rescuing another brood of Tufted duck from Dave Wrights front garden, this time without a female. Again all were safely moved to the reservoir.
Ducklings on hatching are able to find their own food , but follow their parents. This is classified as Precocial 2. The word precocial comes from the same Latin root as 'precocious'. This is not the first time that I have helped ducklings reach the safety of the reservoir, but it does illustrate that help is sometimes required. Once on the water all is well.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Wader passage commences?

A single Common Sandpiper was on the dam this morning, perhaps signalling the start of the long journey back south. An Oyster Catcher was also calling as it flew over the reservoir yesterday.