30th June, Cath sends me her end of month wildlife records, including adult and young of Starling, House Sparrow, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Dunnock, and Robin around her garden, and Willow Warbler, Nuthatch, and Marbled White whilst out and about.
29th June, very hot, and sunny.
28th June, hot and sunny. Painted Lady butterflies are almost hourly as they head North. This is already a good year for them. A Yellow Wagtail goes over the village calling. Once a daily sound of summer. I extend my lunch break (one of the benefits of self-employment) and visit Cotton End Park. The place looks wonderful, the flowers in the meadow, the myriad of greens, and the sweep of the site as it leads into the valley. I see at least 12 Painted Lady, and a Marbled White (One of my favourites), there must be 100 Meadow Browns on the wing, and freshly emerged Small Tortoiseshell and Ringlet. I find an immature Black-tailed Skimmer for the Dragonfly list.
25th June, working at Ryehill Close and there are 20 Swifts in the air, in the garden Painted lady and Scarlet Tiger, and a Red Kite drifts by. CEP has a Ringlet butterfly to add to the list.
23rd June, I hang the washing out and find a Buff-tipped Moth. They are perfectly camouflaged to match a broken Silver Birch twig, but nobody had told this one what it perfectly looks like because it sits in plain sight on an Ivy leaf. Grey Wagtail, juvenile Kestrel, and Yellowhammer of note at the Park. Terry reports Painted Lady, and Common Blue butterflies. I visit Evans’ Ponds viewing from the footpath I suddenly see a Kingfisher shoot past. First I’ve seen for years. (It turns out David Green saw it there in the morning, and Jane saw one at Mill Park around the same time)
22nd June, opening CEP at 0630 is rewarded by a singing Reed Warbler. Not in the reeds as you’d expect but in the Orchard hedge. I phone-record it just in case I’m wrong with the ID. A warm feeling comes over me as I realize that they haven’t occurred at CEP before so a new species for site. Reed Warbler = 96*. The evening is fine and we go back up with friends for a BBQ. We watch a Short-tailed Field Vole with her young in tow, literally. Each one of the young holding on to the rear of the one in front like a train. We see Painted Lady, Holly Blue and Scarlet Tiger, and then as darkness falls, one or two Bats.
21st June, an arrow-head Hobby, shoots straight and fast down The Leys.
18th June, after an unseasonal cold snap normality returns with a Painted Lady seen by Angela. This butterfly is a true migrant all the way from the Mediterranean basin. Bats out as well during the evening. Jay reported, Tree Bumblebees in bird nesting boxes are causing the usual uncertainty, and 3 Grey Herons come over the Village calling.
9th June, a sunny Sunday at CEP with singing Nuthatch, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Chiffy, and Blackcap. There is also one each of Mistle and Song Thrush, Buzzard, Kite, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. Butterflies; 2 Speckled Wood, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, and Common Blue. Moths, Cinnabar, Silver Ground Carpet, and a micro with very long antennae – Nemophora degreerella. (you know you want to look it up!) Common Darter joins the Emperor and Chasers over the ponds.
6th June, at CEP, 1 male Broad-bodied Chaser, and egg-laying Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed Damsels. There are the young of Robin, Blackbird, and Chaffinch about. I see 8 Red Kites soaring together off the Brington Road.
1st June, a special treat for me to spend the day with Chris and Sue Ebbage. They are excellent photographers of wildlife and Sue has had dozens of her images displayed within this Wildlife Diary over the years. First stop are some ponds and woods off the Brington Road where a singing Willow Warbler may be the only one in the Parish. Dragonflies include my earliest Emperor, a Hairy Dragonfly (1st for site), Four-spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers, Beautiful Demoiselle, and 5 Damselfly species. Butterflies; Speckled Wood, Orange-tip, Common Blue, Small Copper, Peacock, and 2 Large Skipper. At Evans’ Ponds (With kind permission of David Evans), a Cormorant is circling with the (confused) Rooks above the cover, a pair of Tufted Duck, Nuthatch feeding young and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler. Cinnabar and Burnet Companion Moths are about, and Brimstone is added to the butterfly list. Dragonflies similar to last site. We take a break and see Mint Moth. And finally with kind permission of Trevor Moore we look at Foxhill Park, and hear Reed warbler, Jay and Green Woodpecker, and see a male Banded Demoiselle, a Grass Snake and several Common Spotted Orchids. What a wonderful day.
*If you’re interested in my species list for birds and its progression here are the last few new species recorded at Cotton End Park. Most of these are fly-overs, but count in my book.
- Reed Warbler, 1, 22.06.19.
- Great White Egret, 1, 04.05.18.
- Brambling 2, 23.12.17.
- Grey Plover 1, 19.10.17.
- Hawfinch 2, 09.10.17.
- Crossbill, 8, 30.09.17.
- Sand Martin, c1, 24.09.17.
- Nuthatch 1, 17.06.17.
- Grasshopper Warbler 1, 11.05.17.