With a change in the weather from the last few days , under cloudy skies , I spent some time this morning , trying for a half decent shot of the Nuthatch that seems to be making twice daily visits to the sunflower hearts . It duly appeared , but never stayed for long enough to focus on it , zooming in , grabbing a seed , and away , in the wink of an eye . I shall keep trying , but in the meantime , will have to make do with another species that does exactly the same usually , but today stayed around feeding on the peanuts , and a Greenfinch , having gorged itself once , was waiting to get back on the feeder for seconds .
Lunchtime promised better to come , but by the time I reached Fackenden Down , the cloud had rolled in again , and a cool NW breeze was blowing along the slope , not good conditions for reptiles . And so it proved , with just two Slow Worms and two Common Lizards being recorded on the site and in the surrounding area , one of the Common Lizards having lost it's tail at some time , and looking strange with two legs in the ring of it's body . Butterflies did just as badly , with just 6 recorded from 4 species . The only shot was this male Large White , nectaring on one of the few remaining Black Knapweed flowers still in flower . Birds recorded were mainly Corvids , with about 10 Magpies being the most numerous . I did see two Sparrowhawks that looked as if they were practising food exchanges , until a couple of the local Carrion Crows decided to have a go at them . They won that one , but were immediately set upon by 6 Magpies , and were obviously outnumbered and driven off , the Magpies seemed to cheer loudly as they went .
Not much colour on the slope now , but standing out in patches are the fruits of the WildPrivet , looking not unlike the fruits of the Buckthorn .
Even the Grasshopper numbers have crashed , but I did find a female Dark Bush Cricket , identified by the ovipositor at the end of her abdomen . And finally , a green caterpillar , about 4cms. long , with a yellow collar , that I thought would make it easy to identify . I've looked at pages and pages of images , but haven't ID'd it yet . Any ideas ?
A big thank you to Steve/Kingsdowner , for his identification , Green Silver Lines , even down to the red anal prolegs . Cheers Steve .
9 hours ago