Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The gathering clouds

The warm weather may have broken today but Sunday saw the first clouded yellows on the site – part of an influx across the county and an uncommon visitor at Tophill. Jeff Barker has pictures on his Flickr page.

Butterflies have been quite abundant and, ringlet excepted, marbled whites seem to be nearly in greatest numbers this year – a spectacular count of 133 across site on Saturday. Thanks to HVWG for this pic:

A reminder too that there is still time to book on Sunday mornings butterfly and moth walk – 10am free with standard admission – 01377 270690.

This fine beast had unfortunately been clipped by a car in the reserve car park – a horntail or ‘woodwasp.’ Again a species not regularly seen:

Thanks to Andy Marshall for this shot of a Rutpela maculata - black-and-yellow longhorn in D woods:

Bird-wise things continue to progress with both greenshank and common sandpiper dropping in of late. Spotted flycatcher was still present around the water treatment works and another bird has been found near the back-to-back hides. Little gulls continue to grace us with the first adult bird going through on Sunday.

Of best note has been a party of little egrets seen around site and also down river at High Eske according to Derrick of the HVWG site with photo on Martin’s blog. A local family? It is certainly to be hoped. Other notable breeders include our barn owls – Robin Arundale of the Wolds Barn Owl Group here showing chick three of three during the annual ringing programme.

Another box locally also holds five young so things are looking up for them. Again - please remember they are a protected species - so the only people near them should be licenced like Robin. Saturday night’s owl walk is now fully booked – but we may put another date on subject to interest.

Another bounce back species has been kingfishers. These pictures were taken on the monthly reserve walk where we managed to see one at close quarters – the view cannot be that bad as this was taken using my mobile phone thru binocular eye piece!:

I am sure Mike Eggleton got better though:

A word of warning though – Mike had been there since 6:30am and it only showed at 11:00am. Another guy had given it up as a bad job after arriving at 5:30am – so lots of patience is still necessary!

Common terns are a little more showy – thanks to Alan Walkington for this one of the seven adults currently present – along with four chicks now:

His pal Mike Day also managed to get this cracking buzzard pic over the car park too:

Along with a Tophill rarity – the common frog – hunted to near extinction by grass snakes, marsh frogs, great crested newts, herons and whatever else you can think of. Records can usually be counted on one hand for a year and they appear to do much better in a garden pond!:

On the mammal front Alan Smith sent us this pic of a brown long-eared bat in one of the hides:

Finally this Phallus impudicus was in full show - I'll use its latin name and not that which HVWG did when sending it across!