Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Floral Interlude.

First of all a Starling roost update. We have a mystery. On Thursday night at about 11.30pm I was taking the dog out, when a Barn Owl came from one of the conifers where the starlings roost. It flopped onto another tree across the track, flushing one or two birds, but there were thousands in there. Later, I was woken by the dog at 3.45am, wanting me to take her out. As we walked around the corner near the trees, it was silent. Not a bird in there. And that was about it. They've not been back. I am amazed that a visit by a Barn Owl can move on 4000 Starlings so easily. Its probably for the best, but we are quite sad to see them go, their chattering calls through the night was quite reassuring.

This morning began wet breezy and cool, more like October than July.

I met John at Homebase and noted that all three plans for today were scuppered by the weather. Plan 1 was to go over the south Cumbria looking for butterflies, the weather there was too poor. Plan 2 was to go looking for Large Heath butterfly in Northumberland, but again, weather too cool. Plan 3 was to go up to Holy Island looking for Orchids with the off chance of a butterfly. Not worth it.

In the end we just pottered around our usual haunts at Warkworth. Before that, we did a quick check of the pond next to the A1 at Charlton Mires where a Green Sandpiper was the highlight.

Then down to the Coquet Estuary. Here waders are on the increase, but its just a shame that so far it is nearly all one species -Redshank. We did dig out 35 Dunlin, 5 Common Sandpipers, 1 sum plum Knot and 2 flyover sum plum Grey Plovers.

As it was getting brighter and warmer we popped along to the dunes to check out the flora. This can be lovely at this time, and today was no exception. There were various species of hawkbits, harebells, maiden pinks, ladies bedstraw, birds foot trefoil, wild thyme, meadow vetchling, restharrow and vipers bugloss all over. Attracted to the floral scene were a good range of butterflies with 4 Dark Green Fritillary ( our first at this site), 25+ Small Skippers, 3 Small Heath, 2 Common Blue, 10+ each of Ringlet and Meadow Brown. Added to a few Narrow bordered 5 spot Burnet Moths, Latticed Heath and Yellow Shell moths, the day was salvaged quite admirably I think...

Narrow bordered 5 spot Burnet Moth

Dark Green Fritillary

Latticed Heath moth

Maiden Pinks

Small Skipper on Thyme.

Wild Thyme

Floral dunes at Warkworth

Warkworth Dunes.


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Very beautiful photographs, on a lovely day by the look of things.

Coquetnaturelover said...

The burnet moth is quite beautiful - lovely photo