After two days volunteering and not getting out yesterday , I earned a few more brownie points , then set off to check the local sites .
The Ash tree on the Common only produced two high Purple Hairstreak sightings , but whilst there a migrant Silver Y moth posed , showing the Ys well , and the strange ear / horn type appendages on the head . Also in the dry grass , an Essex Skipper .
On to the Farm lake , where I was welcomed with the constant calls of three Little Grebe chicks .
These have to be a second brood , but I never saw anything of the first . Good numbers of Common Blue butterflies , second brood again , and also of Gatekeepers . This was one of three very fresh looking Red Admirals recorded on site . Odonata recorded were in small numbers , but Emperor , Black-tailed Skimmer , Common Darter , like these two in tandem , still a few Blue Tailed , Azure and Common Blue Damselflies about . As I was about to leave , calls from further down the valley alerted me to what looked like a family group of four Common Buzzard . As they came closer , they must have found a thermal , and started to rise on it . By the time they were overhead they were really high , but I still couldn't get all four in the same frame , and had to settle for these two .
After lunch , with clouds rolling in , I headed for High Elms , and as usual , as I got there the sun disappeared . Another three Red Admirals were recorded , all on the same Buddleia bush .
On the Orchid Bank , and on the area around it , I recorded 6 White-lettered Hairstreaks , some like this female , in pristine condition , but some , like this male who has obviously fought a few battles , not quite so pristine . The Hemp Agrimony is coming into flower , and is already become a nectar supermarket for the many Peacocks and Commas already feeding on it . Burnt Gorse produced another mating pair of Common Blues , and the male Silver Washed Fritillaries are still courting any females that they find , even though they are not so dapper as they were . At the far end , a male Brimstone had nestled himself down in the vegetation , waiting to see what the now wall to wall cloud would bring . As I walked back , a grey , fast flying insect caught my eye .
I managed to follow it , and when it slowed down , I recognised it as my second migrant moth of the day , a Hummingbird Hawk moth . Strangely , it wasn't nectaring , and almost appeared to be looking for a suitable place to lay eggs , who knows . It didn't stay long , but I managed about 6 shots . I saw it again a couple of minutes later , but this time is just disappeared at speed . I only saw one last year , but didn't get a shot , so was pleased with the result this time .
7 hours ago