Thursday 9 May 2013

Plymbridge Woods and Wembury

The May Day Bank Holiday Weekend, good weather for a change but only the Sunday (5th May) off from work so we headed off to Plymbridge Woods for a walk in the warm sunshine. A few butterflies were on the wing including my first green veined white and brimstone of the year along with 2 peacock and small whites.

The male peregrine was showing on its nest in the Quarry, watched over from the Viaduct by the attending volunteers keeping a protective vigil. Only its head was showing and we had just missed seeing the female flying off but the nest this year is in a very prominent place on the quarry face, in an old raven nest, so if the eggs hatch successfully there will be some good views of the young being fed.

Along the River were 2 grey wagtails, a dipper and a female mallard with some ducklings while under the water were trout, including 2 large individuals, and an eel. Best birds were 4 male Mandarins, a lone male and 3 males together, one of the 3 males had a silver ring on its right leg.

 Male Mandarin Duck
Male Mandarin Duck

Tuesday 7th May and on leaving the house I saw 2 swifts overhead, my first of the year, and from the bus on arriving at Wembury I saw another swift feeding with house martins.My quick walk along the coast at Wembury before yet more night shifts was pretty much a repeat of my walk on the 2nd May. The 2 shelduck were again roosting on the beach near the sewage pipe while 5 male mallards fed nearby. The 2 Canada geese were feeding in the wheatfield and along the beach single whimbrels were mobile and flighty with 2 bird seen together. However in the field above the horse stable a small flock of around 30 whimbrel were busily feeding.

Whitethroats were again very noticeable singing and songflighting and I heard blackcap and chiffchaff singing too. A kestrel, a buzzard, 4 male and 2 female stonechats and 2 oystercatcher were also seen with a lone adult gannet offshore heading East.

2 red admirals, small white, a speckled wood, a peacock and my first orange tip and holly blue were seen but there were no moths again in the toilet block despite the recent warmer nights - I suspect the lights are not on at the moment with the cafe being closed. Also seen were a very confiding common lizard and a squashed oil beetle on the footpath in the area where I saw one on the 2nd.

 Common Lizard
 Small White
Red Admiral feeding on Sloe Blossom
I had the moth box out in the back yard on the 5th May and had my first shuttle shaped dart and knot grass of the year and on leaving work this morning after my night shift I caught an early thorn fluttering around in the corridor which I brought home and released in the back yard.

Early Thorn

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