It was sunny and very windy and there was a great swirling mass of gulls off Langstone Rock as the train arrived in to Dawlish Warren station at 10:30am (the earliest I could get there) and so I headed off straight away to the sea wall for a quick scan across the sea. There were plenty of gulls around, mostly herring gulls but with a few great black backed- and black headed gulls amongst them, and I also picked out a few common scoters, 2 great crested grebes and a grey seal. Scanning through the gulls I picked out a dark phase Arctic skua flying West before it disappeared behind Langstone Rock and so I headed off along the seawall path but by the time I had got there it had moved on. Scanning again through the swirling gulls I found a nice juvenile Mediterranean gull and another great crested grebe along with 4 male and 7 female common scoter close in to the shore. Heading up to the top of the Rock I met a birder on holiday from Hull who had earlier seen 3 Arctic skuas and then a single one (presumably the one I saw) but no sign of any shearwaters. I spent some time scanning and apart from a swift heading West and a few gannets I saw nothing else new and so decided to end my seawatching light session and head off to Greenland Lake on the Warren for a look around.
Greenland Lake was sheltered from the wind and it was warm and humid with lots of butterflys flitting around - small tortoiseshell, speckled wood, common blue, small copper, green veined white, small white, large white, gatekeeper and meadow brown - and I found a nice clouded yellow and best of all at least 3 brown argus, a new butterfly for me. The heat and humidity meant they were very active and mobile and it was hard to get a decent photo of what is a very attractive butterfly despite its small size.
Brown Argus - a worn individual and the first one I saw
Brown Argus- underwing showing figure of 8 mark
Brown Argus - underwing of a less worn individual
Brown Argus - a much smarter looking individual showing a blueish tinge
Also on show were a few dragonflys which were equally active and mobile in the warm conditions but I eventually managed a few photos. Around the Main Pond I also saw a few small red eyed damselflys including a pair laying eggs in the water and yes, they were small with red eyes, well the males had red eyes, and were a new damselfly species for me too.
Common Darter - female
Common Darter - male
Emperor Dragonfly - close up
Heading home and there was the usual chaos on the trains with no one seeming to know what was going on with trains being cancelled and rescheduled, but I did see a hare with a smaller leveret near Newton Abbot as they ran away as the train passed by which made up for the delay.