31st July, Jo and Mike separately report Red Kites. Two birds are seen over the rape fields as they are being harvested. They are scavengers and cruise about staring intently at the newly exposed ground. Rob jumps off the ‘combine’ for a beer at the back gate. We talk moisture, tonnage, ploughing, beer and dogs, all in 1 minute. The sun shines, the days are long, the time is now..
30th July, 21 species of butterflies so far and I haven’t tried for the Purps’ at the Station yet. It is my birthday and I treat myself by getting up early and strimming the flower meadow at Hanglands. It is the once a year equivalent of scything, in fact, a scythe would do a better job other than the ground being uneven. I am watched by a young Buzzard and a Kite comes over to look for pickings.
A male Brown Hawker is patrolling the fast evaporating 2nd pond. It’s called a Brown Hawker because as with all named things that’s the first impression – a brownish thing. On closer inspection, it has amber yellow wings, and blue and yellow blocks and rings on its chocolate-orange, brown body, a real beauty. The flowers and grass tumble, and the seed-pods of the are vetch are still popping as it lays on the ground. The sweat rolls down my face, and I breathe in the smell of summer.
27th July, Butterflies reports still coming in, courtesy of the sunshine, with Brimstone, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, and Red Admiral seen. A big green and black Dragonfly appears in the garden during the evening, a female Southern Hawker may be eyeing my rather pathetic garden pond
22nd July, Terry reports 2 Holly Blue butterflies, and I see Painted Lady and Peacock. Tony sends a photo of his resident Toad, a formidable looking lady indeed. Ruddy Darter at Hanglands is a good find as some years I have none. Having mentioned Lesser Black-backed Gulls (LBBG) on the 20th I see no reason not to push my luck again so here goes.
20th July, Comma joins the butterfly list and July Belle, the moths. Tommo and I start to tackle the garden but we still have nests of Blackbird, Robin and Dunnock with chicks, so I cancel the operation, much to Tom’s delight. Plus we disturb a big Frog. I know Gulls are not that interesting but I challenge you to go to the Royal Oak industrial estate in Daventry on a sunny day and not be thinking of the seaside after five minutes. The sounds of Gulls, in this case Herring Gull, and Lesser Black-backed Gull, nesting on some of the vast roof tops is quite evocative. Either that or I am in real need of a holiday.
13th July, Vicky and I see Hobby over Armley, and David sees the Kite low over Market Place. 9 species of Dragons at CEP including the first Brown Hawker, and 11 species of Butterflies including Marbled White (3!) Small Skipper and Red Admiral. The first Common Darter reported.
10th July, a brilliant royal blue male Common Blue butterfly appears whilst I search for the Marbled White. I see that and another. A Raven and a Red Kite cruise over.
9th July, Tony sends a photo of a moth I think is Leopard Moth. Common Shrew and Gatekeeper are reported.
6th July, CEP has hundreds of butterflies on the wing including Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, and Large Skipper in the meadow, and as if by magic a Marbled White suddenly pops up. I am not sure there are any colonies left in Buckby parish so this is good news. The small pond at Hanglands is hosting an emergence of Southern Hawkers. A dozen or so newly formed adults are resting next to their exuvia, building themselves up to the first flight of their lives. The Water Lilies flowers are just perfect.
3rd July, CEP work party is enlightened by views of Beautiful Demoiselle, Hobby, Sparrowhawk, Red Kite, and the Red Arrows, as well as hundreds of butterflies.
2nd July, Mr Ball from Parkfield donates some slabs to Mill Park and we see 2 Trout in the stream at the bottom of his garden whilst collecting them. Mike Ivens reports a Little Egret, and we find a pair of mating beetles we think are Gastrophysa Viridula, whilst we unload. Hobby at dusk over Grange Farm.
1st July, Kevin reports a large Grass Snake from CEP whilst starting on the new pond. I pop down to monitor progress and hear a Little Owl, and a Reed Bunting and see a pair of Grey Partridge, 2 Black-tailed Skimmers, and 5 Broad-bodied Chasers. Dean reports 14 Ducklings with the pair of Tufted Duck at Evans Ponds and Painted Lady is seen on Jackson Track.