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31 May 2019

28 Up

Went to Dawlish Warren today on the hunt for Skippers and found one Large Skipper as well as a Small White that just wouldn't settle long enough for a pic but the Skipper more than made up for it.

That makes 28 Species for this season, hopefully will boost this over the next couple of weeks.



30 May 2019

Hedgehog

Already in a good mood after a excellent evening out with friends at a local hostelry come across this Hog while I was walking home.

Managed to take this pic with my camera on my phone, haven't seen a Hog for a couple of years let alone in Dawlish, a real uplifting moment.

Thinking back this area was the last time I saw one, hopefully the residents of this housing block realize how lucky they are to have there own slug controller!



29 May 2019

26 Up

A bit slow on the Butterfly front and the wind is not helping, went to Dawlish Warren yesterday hoping to see a Skipper or two but very little about, but as I was walking down the path on the back meadow a early Meadow Brown flew up and thankfully came back down and settled quickly.

They are about a week early but everything seems wrong on the timings this year.



28 May 2019

Dragons

Spent the weekend trying to stay out of the way of all the holiday traffic so spent a lot of time around ponds looking for dragonflies hoping to catch one emerging, when I was young I used to find them all the time but now I have a camera with me I always seem to be a few hours late.

Anyway had a good time, found a few nymph casings, Hairy Hawkers, Four-spotted Chasers and loads of Damselflies. The ponds themselves and other waterways were full of other life such as Newts, water Boatman and beetles.



23 May 2019

25 Up

Went to Lydford Gorge to the Butterfly Conservation site to see the Heath Fritillary and wasn't disappointed, looked like about 20+ Butterflies but difficult to put a number on it as they were busy chasing each other around trying to couple and not many settled for very long, they are a stunning Butterfly!

Went down to the field below and loads of Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries, the most I've ever seen in one place! Also saw a couple of Speckled Wood, Brimstone and Green Veined White.

Still no Small White though?



22 May 2019

Grasshopper Warblers

Lucky to be given the heads up on an area where these birds spend the summer in Devon, in previous years I have been to visit this area on the 9th and 15th of May and have been early morning visits.

Today I didn't get there until midday and it was hard work to see any, in previous years birds were singing and they were easily picked up. I can only assume because Iam later in the month they are all ready sat on nests and no need to display?

I did hear one bird give a little bit of a rattle, enough to give it away but not the normal "reel", I saw 3 other birds flying from one bush to another.Next year I need to get there earlier in the month.

To hear the "reel" especially if you get more than one going is very special, well it is to me. Sometimes because my hearing is not what it used to be I miss part of the call.



19 May 2019

24 up

Been on the Butterfly hunt this last few days with trips to Berry Head, Holden, Meeth Quarry and Exminster Marshes, three new ones for this year with Small Blue and Wall at Berry Head and Wood White at Meeth.

Also saw lots of other species with Spotted Wood, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Red Admiral, Peacock, Common Blue, Pearl-boarded and Small Pearl-boarded Fritillary.

The weather hasn't been the best with grey cloud, breezy and the odd shower but still managed to find a few Butterflies.

Good to see a few people about and nice to share with those less knowledgeable although Iam no expert!

It was great going to Meeth Quarry today, its worth the journey and would recommend it, you could easily spend all day there, my visit was just about looking for the Wood Whites which I quickly found in fact 10 in total, those that have not seen one before they are very dainty and gently flutter around the place, great little Butterfly!



15 May 2019

21 Up

Had a great day in Dorset today, went to The Giant Hill at Cerne Abbas.

The weather was perfect as far I was concerned, lots of sun and a little breeze, the journey up was a bit crap but the destination made it worth while.

Found 15 Species of Butterflies, 5 new species for the year Grizzled and Dingy Skippers, Duke of Burgundy, Marsh Fritillary including two that where coupled, thanks to Dave for giving me the shout and Small Heath.

Others seen Speckled Wood, Orange Tip, White sp, Holly and Common Blue, Brown Argus, Peacock, Brimstone, Small Copper and Green Hairstreak.

The Hill looked great, plenty of other insects about as well as flowers.

Humans in good numbers and sadly there was a couple of knob heads who were quite unpleasant, they wanted the place to themselves, one especially was quite aggressive. But would say there was some really nice humans all enjoying the day.

Good to have a long chat with Malcolm Wemyss who keeps a watchful eye over the hill, several other people who I have met before but cant remember your names, thanks for making it a great day!

Hope to at least get to last years totals of 50 but not sure thats going to happen!



14 May 2019

16 Up

Been trying to catch up with some Butterflies today and managed to get 2 more to add to the list, Common Blue and Brown Argos both at Dawlish Warren which makes 16 Species.

Other Species seen so far, Brimstone, Red Admiral, Commer, Small tort, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Green Veined White, Large White, Small Pearl and Pearl boarded Fritillary, Small Copper and Green Hairstreak.



13 May 2019

Frustrating Times

Feeling quite frustrated on the job front at the moment, was supposed to have started a new job today but pulled out at the last moment when I was sent my contract showing my salary would be 2721 less than the advertised amount, apparently I would have to get all the allowances and do all the shity hours to get the full amount, talk about being miss led.

Anyway to keep myself sain I visited Exminster Marshes a few times, Challacombe on Dartmoor as well as looking for Butterflies at Aish Tor and Holden.

Got my total species for Butterflies up to 15 with Small Copper, Green Hairstreek and Small Peal-boarded Fritillary.

Seen lots of birds about the place, enjoyable to see the Lesser Whitethroat at Exminster as well as all the Warblers, Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher at Challacombe. Great to see Swifts, Swallow and House Martins as well as Hobbies at Exminster, Whimbrels, Lapwings in good numbers.

Nice to meet lots of humans about and all pleasant company although finding a few balloons at Exminster did annoy me a bit.

Still onward and upwards!



06 May 2019

All over the place

This Weekend, well Thursday to Monday I have been all over Devon in between domestic duties and shopping and visiting friends. The weather has been a little cool which put pay to finding any major Butterflies about although did see lots of great Birds.

Thursday I was about Powderham and Exminster Marshes, best here was a Hobby from the back path but also saw Swallow, Swift, Sedge, Reed and Cettis Warblers, Blackcap, Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Herring, Black-headed and Great-black Backed Gulls, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Woodpigeon, Common Whitethroat, Great, blue and Long-tailed Tits.

Friday I was on Dartmoor and did a circular walk from the middle car park on Tremblebere back to the car.

Garden and Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Robin, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, GSW and LSW calling, Cuckoo calling, Carrion Crow, Tree Pipit, Woodpigeon, Grey Heron, Blackbird, Siskin, Wren and Stonechat.

Saturday out shopping and doing other stuff which took me through Ashcombe valley where there were large numbers of House Martins which was great to see.

Sunday down to South Devon and was able to fit in a circular walk around East Soar and Middle Soar, plenty of Skylarks here as well as Meadow Pipit, Yellow Hammer, Stonechat, Whitethroat, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Swallow, Jackdaw, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Wren, Chiffchaff, Sedge and Reed Warblers, Magpie, Raven ,Buzzard and Herring Gull.

Today I managed to get in a full days birding in, the morning was spent at Aylsebere, great to get close ups of Yellowhammer, Dartford Warbler, Willow Warbler, Stonechat, Linnet, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, Great and Blue Tit,Chiffchaff, Robin, Carrion Crow and Raven.

In the afternoon I went to Seaton Wetlands and had a good walk around the reserve and visited every hide, Reed, Sedge and Cettis Warbler, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch, Swallows, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Herring, Black-headed, Great and Lesser-black Backed Gulls, Blackbird, Shelduck, Mallard, Greenshank, Godwits, Dunlin, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Moorhen, Coot, Dunnock, Collard Dove, Woodpigeon, Grey Heron, Little Egret and Pheasant.

Met lots of great people, families out enjoying themselves, runners, cyclists, dog walkers, birders and people like me out with the camera.



01 May 2019

Swifts

Just want to remind people of one of my best mates website, Mark Glanville runs Bristol Swifts and has 25 Swift Boxes around his house. He does a lot of conservation work and is often seen on TV, last year he was on Breakfast Time.

His birds started to arrive from Africa yesterday and his blog is a great read https://www.bristolswifts.co.uk/



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