Monday, April 25, 2011

Streaks and Heaths...

Yesterday found myself and Mr Rutter down at Alnmouth, checking the Foxton Bends, the Golf Course Pond and the River. Although it was a cracking morning, there wasn't a great deal doing.

A duck Mallard led her brood of 7 across the river under the bridge, my first fledglings of the year. In the Golf Course Pond willows a few Blackcaps and Willow Warblers were the highlight, and along the river 2 Sandwich Terns, 2 Red breasted Mergansers and a Whitethroat were of note. Two Whimbrel tried to land briefly before flying off north.

From here we dropped John's car back off at Shilbottle, 6+ Whitethroats were noted on route, and headed up to Alnwick Moor and Widehope. The target here was to look for Adders, Emperors and maybe Green Hairstreaks.

What was immediately apparent were the number of Common Heath moth on the wing. On our walk 40+ were seen including a female that had assembled 3 males to mate. A Green Woodpecker was yaffling while two Buzzards soared above. A couple of pairs of Stock Dove emerged from cracks and fissures in rock faces. 2+ Wheatears skipped around and a Roe buck made off as we broke the skyline.

Common Heath pair
Further along, where bilberry was more apparent a short 'tea stop' turned up the goods. A single stroppy Green Hairstreak mobbed a Green-veined White that had over stepped the mark by encroaching on its territory, then, surprisingly for this species, it flew off high over the trees and over the road. A closer examination of the site revealed another two Green Hairstreaks sunning low down on small birch and bilberry.

Shining like an emerald, the Green Hairstreak.

A superb little butterfly, and a great one to find at a new site too, only a few miles from home.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Bah! Why cant I have a Green Hairstreak!!!!