This morning two Hobbies were seen during the Butterfly Census. Fifty-five Common Blue butterflies were counted. SC.
This afternoon a juvenile Arctic Tern paid a brief visit to the Slurry Lagoon, as did a Yellow-legged Gull. Three Greenshank spent most of the afternoon there and there are now three Garganey. Two Clouded Yellows and a Painted Lady were also seen. PS.
There was a Willow Tit and several very smart juvenile Chiffchaffs along the Lower Path today. On the Slurry Lagoon the Lapwings kept chasing a Little Stint, that only wanted to have a snooze. The Lapwings also chased a Redshank until it found a corner well away from them. Two Snipe were also present, dwarfing the Little Stint as the three flew over the site together to avoid the pursuing Lapwings. JMD. PS.
A very warm and sunny day slightly spoilt by a strong south westerly breeze which kept the butterflies from flying. A group of seven of us set off along the Ouse Dyke where we encountered the usual selection of large, small and green-veined whites, speckled wood butterflies along with common darter, brown hawker and southern hawker dragonflies. We were even greeted by the call of the resident kingfisher as it speed off up the path.
On entering the site we soon found the first of our target species of common blue, which it became apparent are very abundant all around the site as there is plenty of birds-foot trefoil on the bank tops and sides. The next of our target species for the day was the small copper, only one of these was located at the top of a bank I know from previous visits to be one of the best places to find them. Unfortunately we weren’t so lucky with the small heath which failed to show at all, probably due to the wind whipping across the site.
Dropping down to the river bank to get some shelter from the wind we encountered our next target, brown argus. Or at least the back markers did, by the time the rest of us had backtracked it had disappeared into the long grass. However, we did all get to see this small butterfly later as altogether we encountered six in various parts of the lagoons.
The walk continued in the shelter of the hedge bordering the back of the gravel pits where plenty of common blue damselflies along with other butterflies and dragonflies were taking advantage of the windbreak offered by the hedge. Our return to the site found more brown argus on the central bund between the deep pit and the slurry lagoon, and also along the bottom pathe following the railway line.
By the end of the walk we had encountered ten butterfly species, including those mentioned above along with small tortoiseshell, brimstone, meadow brown and painted lady. Other highlights included two hobby, wheatear, whinchat and various warblers.
A Whinchat and a Wheatear were seen this morning, both on the Deep Pit fence by the Railway Bridge, though not at the same time. Two Hobbies were also seen here. About six Brown Argus were seen around the site and more Long-winged Coneheads, as well as several Migrant Hawkers, Brown Hawkers and a Southern Hawker. The Lower Path had a flock of warblers, containing Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, plus two Willow Tits.