Monday 31 May 2021

Flying Emeralds

Thursday 27th May was warm and sunny and the best day of the spring so far and so I headed out to Wembury for a walk.

The tide was ebbing when I arrived and out on the rocks with the usual Oystercatchers were 2 Little Egret, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Shelduck and 3 male Mallard.

Blackcap and Chiffchaff were heard and Whitethroats were vocal and showy as always and it was nice to see 2 family parties of Stonechats with recently fledged young. At least 4 male Cirl Buntings were singing with 3 seen along with a single female.

I found a moth in the toilet block, a Monopsis obviella, which I caught and released outside.

Monopsis obviella

Monopsis obviella

A few Speckled Yellow were flitting about in the sunshine and I also found a Wood Carpet flitting about in the gorse.

Speckled Yellow

Wood Carpet

Tortrix Sp. 

Micro Sp. 

A  mobile and restless Wall was too quick to get a photo of and 2 Large White, 2 Green-veined White, a Small Copper and a male Orange Tip were also seen but the highlight of the walk were 4 Green Hairstreaks with 3 of them seen close together on a gorse Bush.

I always forget how small Green Hairstreaks are and how easily overlooked they can be and also how beautiful they are, they were stunning and I watched them in wonderment with the biggest grin on my face.

Green Hairstreak 

Green Hairstreak 

Green Hairstreak 

Green Hairstreak 

Green Hairstreak 

Green Hairstreak 

And so a very nice walk with a coffee and a Chunk pasty for lunch before heading home, quiet bird wise as expected but great to finally see some insect life in the warmer and sunnier weather.

Friday 28th May was the beginning of the Bank Holiday weekend getaway and the start of half term holiday hell, it will be interesting to see what it will be like as foreign travel is still pretty much non-existent under the current lock down rules.

It was cloudy but warm and so we went for a walk at Burrator Reservoir. On our Devonport Leat walk last week we missed seeing Crazywell Pool and so we walked from Norsworthy Bridge up to the Pool, a route we haven't taken before.

The usual Stonechat, Skylark and Meadow Pipit were seen along with a silent male Redstart and a very brief calling Cuckoo. Another Cuckoo was also heard calling, giving a sore throated sounding Cuck but a normal sounding Coo, and 2 Redstart were heard singing too. 

I had the moth box out in the back yard overnight which I sorted it out before our walk and was pleased to find 6 moths of 6 species! A smart Brimstone Moth was the pick of the bunch.

Brimstone Moth

The Bank Holiday weather was marvellous for a change but I was stuck in work on 2 long day shifts on the Saturday and Sunday. However with a night shift looming on Bank Holiday Monday and the good weather continuing I had a morning walk around Saltram and along the Plym.

It was quiet as expected with a Greenshank, 3 Oystercatcher and 5 Curlew on the Blaxton Meadow high tide along with 3 Little Egret, Shelduck, Canada Goose and Gulls.

No sign of any Spotted Flycatchers but I did see a singing male Whitethroat, my first here for the year. Also seen were 4 Ring-necked Parakeets squawking in the trees, 2 Swift hawking overhead with Swallows, a Nuthatch feeding a fledgling and a Green Woodpecker played hide and seek with me on a tree trunk, moving around the trunk as I tried to get a better view.

A female Orange Tip, a Green-veined White, Small Heaths and male Common Blues were on the wing in the warm sunshine. A Glow Worm larva rescued off the footpath was a nice find too. 

Small Heath

Common Blue

Glow Worm Larva

A nice walk but I did miss out on seeing a male Cirl Bunting found just before I arrived - you can't win them all! 

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