Wednesday 23 May 2012

Telescope Day at Dawlish Warren

I've had the moth box out in the back yard a few nights over the last week, still slim pickings, but I did have a nice spectacle moth and my first large yellow underwing of the year.

Spectacle Moth

Spectacle Moth spectacles

Large Yellow Underwing

Anyway I headed to Dawlish Warren on the 20th May to try out some telescopes on the London Camera Exchange optics day. It was feeling warmer and the sun did eventually show when it became quite warm and pleasent. I tried out some scopes and I have finally ordered the Nikon ED50 telescope which should be with me in the next week!

Bird wise it was quiet with 2 Sandwich terns, 5 summer plumaged great crested grebes and diving gannets offshore. Chiffchaff, blackcap and 3 reed warblers were heard singing and a great spotted woodpecker was heard calling. On the pond a female mallard had 2 small ducklings with her and a young moorhen was seen along with 2 mute swans. Swallows and house martins were collecting mud from a puddle for their nests. A pair of Canada geese were keeping a careful eye on 4 goslings as I walked by.

2 of the 4 Canada Geese goslings

Insects were on the wing due to the warm weather and I saw a small copper and a speckled wood, a wasp beetle, azure damselfly and a yellow belle.

Wasp Beetle

Azure Damselfly

Yellow Belle - male with feathery antenna

Southern marsh orchids were in flower around the reserve.

Southern Marsh Orchid

Southern Marsh Orchid

The weather is continuing to improve and after working an early shift on the 22nd May I caught the bus out to Blagdons Meadow along the River Plym for a quick walk around as the sun was shining and it was quite warm and I had been cooped up inside all day. A female orange tip was flying around along with a holly blue and at least 3 small heath.

Female Orange Tip

Small Heath

 Cuckoo flowers were everywhere and I found quite a few early purple orchids including a white flowered one with no spotting on its leaves. They were going over and were flowering in a different area to where I saw them last year and on sniffing them they had quite a pungent smell, the guide book describes it as Tom-cat - Nice!

Early Purple Orchid - Purple Form

Early Purple Orchid - White Form

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