Tag Archives: Red Admiral

Wheatear – 6th October

The Patchwatch was held today and there were definite signs of passage as Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Swallows, Song Thrushes and the first Redwings flew through. The Jack Snipe was still by the seat on the Causeway and a Wheatear was seen perched on the seat by the river steps. On the Slurry Lagoon there were still three Pintail and a Red-crested Pochard.  Butterflies were about too with Brimstone, Red Admiral, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and a very late Meadow Brown. Over 70 species of bird were seen during the day.  PS.

Migrants Return – 3rd April

During the last few days many migrant  species have been returning to the lagoons and helped to provide a quite exciting morning’s watching in very pleasant bright weather this morning. Amongst others, the Sand Martins are now present in considerable numbers on the river bank. Willow Warblers were noted in several locations, as were Chiffchaffs and one or two Blackcaps. A single Reed Warbler was heard in the Deep Pit and a Whitethroat in the  brambles on the Slurry Lagoon. The highlight of the morning was a Wheatear, which perched very close on fence posts, and the close second was the appearance of three Buzzards, which displayed well, including an aerial fight. The Cetti’s Warbler was in good voice also.

Meanwhile two Common Terns were struggling with Black-headed Gulls for space on the tern platform.

Butterflies, including Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, and  Red Admiral were noted and the Blackthorn Blossom was a sight  to see (and  smell). A Yellow Wagtail was also seen over the Large Gravel Pit and six Shelduck flew into the Slurry Lagoon.

PS/NM/RW/AR/ DG/LD/AE

Wildlife Seeker – August 2010

As August was a wildlife seeker trip I searched the internet to see what was around. As there was nothing really exciting it was decided that we went to Norfolk.

Five of us left in one car and we reached Cley at about 10.30 am. We made our way to Salthouse beach car park and spent the next three-quarters of an hour sitting below the dunes – out of the wind – doing a bit of sea watching. Gannets were going south in variable numbers. There were the usual gulls and a few waders passing by. A small flock of Common Scoter were seen off shore. It was hoped that there might be Shearwaters and Skuas moving through. The only skua species we saw was so far out we couldn’t identify it.

We decided we would head for Titchwell; at least we could sit in a hide out of the wind.

Alas – it was not to be. We were almost in Stiffkey when the car we were in broke down.

While we were waiting for the breakdown truck Marsh Harrier was seen.

We arrived back in Nottingham at about 3.00pm so a few of us decided to call at the Lagoons for a couple of hours. While there we added Red Admiral and Speckled Wood to our trip tally.


Total trip records (2009 in brackets)

Birds 168 (148) Mammals 12 (6) Butterflies 23 (15) Dragonflies 7 (3) Others 7 (1)

Birds and Butterflies

Otmoor and Bernwood 2010

After picking up Brian, Norman and Steve we set off on the first of our two Wildlife Seeker trips. As there was nothing exceptional around, I set off down the motorway to Oxfordshire and to the first of two new sites for the NWG trips.

The first site was RSPB Otmoor. We arrived with the sun shinning and within minutes Steve heard a Turtle Dove. As we walked up the track towards the feeding station we noticed that the path verges were full of butterflies – Common Blue, Small and Green-veined Whites, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper. The bird list was growing slowly with the commoner birds.

There were dragonflies all round but unfortunately we were unable to identify them except for Ruddy Darter. We continue along the nature trail calling into the new hide then up to the viewing screens. Along the way two Kestrel were seen sitting on the fence posts. After about five minutes at the viewing screen we added Green and Wood Sandpiper to the growing bird list. Two eclipsed Garganey were also seen.

Between the two viewing screens we were amazed at the numbers of Common Blue butterflies on the Thistles. There were in excess of 1500 – every flower head had a butterfly on it. I had never seen anything like it. It was a photographer’s dream – if they would sit still.

On the way back towards the car park Brian commented that I had promised him Hobby. At the screen one and possibly two were seen but very distantly. A little later Turtle Dove was heard again and we all had good views thanks to Steve who found it sitting in a dead tree. We also had one on the path in front of us on the way back to the car. Red Kite was numerous with eight seen on the site but the best but most unexpected bird of the day was yet to come. As we approached the feeding station a small flock of birds rose into the air calling. Steve and Norman identified them immediately as Common Crossbill – 27 of them. There had been an irruption of them nationally in the past week with sightings from Northern Scotland to Kent but nobody had expected to see them in Oxfordshire.

As we had lunch in the car park we had a Hobby fly over the cars to every ones delight.

With the daily bird tally standing at 53 and the butterflies at 9, we set off to the second site of the day – Bernwood Forest and Meadow – another new site for us.

Having told the others that this was a good butterfly site, I was a little apprehensive as the sun had gone in although it was still quite warm. It was then that Marsh Tit was heard, being the only bird at this site that was added to the daily list.

As the sun broke through and the others were watching a Silver-washed Fritillary I saw a Weasel run across the path. We turning out of the wood and into the meadow and were greeted to three of four Marbled White butterflies. A little further on we saw a small group of Small Skippers but try as we did we couldn’t turn them into Essex Skippers!

We left the meadow returning to the wood. The sun was shinning through onto a path of bramble were we did manage to see one Essex Skipper – the black tips of the antennae showing very clearly. We meet a couple who told us were we could see Purple Emperor and White Admiral so we set of in search of them. Stopping at a crossroads, Brian spotted two Fallow Deer on the path in front of us about 200 yards away. Crossing the path was an army of Wood Ants making their way from their huge mound of a nest to their feeding areas. Brian pointed out how lucky we were as, if this had been Africa or South America we would have to have waited for them to pass as you would not have dared to have tried to pass them. As we continued we were seeing Silver-washed Fritillary, Specked Wood and the common butterflies but not the ones we wanted. We were almost at the point of giving up when a Red Admiral was spotted, the only one of the day. Soon after a White Admiral was seen but there was no sign of Purple Emperor. Ringlets were seen taking the daily butterfly tally to 17 of which 13 were new to the yearly list.

As we sat in the car park having a cuppa, a Silver-washed Fritillary gave Brian a good opportunity to get a photo.

The daily bird tally was 54.


The yearly trip totals are (with 2009 in brackets): Birds – 166 (141): Butterflies – 22 (14):

Mammals – 11 (5): Dragonflies – 6 (1): Others – 7 (0).

Curlew – 17th September

This afternoon two Curlews were heard calling on the Slurry Lagoon and eventualy flew off to the south. There were also two Green Sandpipers and later a single Golden Plover flew in, calling loudly. There were still some Swallows by the railway bridge and two Yellow Wagtails flew over the site. Along the access track there were two Commas and along the Boundary Hedge two more Commas and a Red Admiral. PS.