Sunday, 14 June 2015

Breezey Birding in Bude

A few days away at the caravan in Bude from June 7th to June 10th and it was gloriously sunny for most of the time. However there was a stiff north-easterly breeze for the whole time which meant it was cool, unpleasently so at times. It was also very chilly at night with the wind and clear skies giving poor mothing conditions.

I didn't find any moths in the toilet blocks and I only had the moth box out for one night and the best of a small haul were 2 pebble prominent, a bordered sallow and a bordered straw, a new moth for me. More exciting was seeing at least 2 hummingbird hawkmoths along the clifftops on our daytime walks, whizzing around in the warm sunshine in areas out of the cool wind.

Bordered Straw

Bordered Sallow

A few butterflies were seen as well - a red admiral, a painted lady, a small tortoiseshell, male common blues, a small copper and my first meadow brown of the year.

The water levels at Maer Lake were high and amongst the mallards were a pair of shelduck and a male teal along with 2 black-tailed godwits. I only visited the clifftops once for an evening walk due to the cold wind and managed to see a few distant Manx shearwaters in small groups flying towards Lundy along with a few gannets. The choppy seas meant no luck with spotting any cetaceans.

Along the Bude Canal there were 2 Cettis warblers and 2 reed warblers singing. A male whitethroat was songflighting and a male reed bunting was seen with 2 others heard. Beautiful demoiselles, blue-tailed damselfly, azure damselfly and a scarce chaser were seen flying around along the footpath.

Blue-tailed Damselfly

Banded Demoiselle - male

Banded Demoiselle - female

Azure Damselfly

Scarce Chaser - male

Some swallows flying over having a hissy fit as we walked up Bude high street had me looking skywards and I just caught a brief glimpse of a hobby disappearing behind the buildings. It reappeared, gaining height before being mobbed by a female kestrel and heading off inland - a very nice surprise. Even more exciting was seeing a red kite flying overhead at Stratton as we drove back to Plymouth - it was mobbed by a carrion crow as it headed East, part of what has been a large influx and movement of red kites in Cornwall and Devon recently and a nice end to our trip.

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