Saturday, 21 July 2012

Sunny enough?

The Safari approached the moth trap with a little bit of trepidation this morning - it went flippin chilly last night - single figures chilly
Our fears were realised when we culd see no moths through the perspex and the egg boxes in the bottom were sodden with dew.
All was not entirely lost though as we lifted the first box a Heart & Dart was secreted beneath. Also lurking in the recesses were another Heart & Dart, a couple of Dotted Clays, a Cabbage and a Scalloped Oak - always nice to see them. Not the biggest of hauls but better than nothing...hoping for more tonight in muggier conditions.
Dotted Clay
Scalloped Oak
After a few slices of toast we headed back out to see if anything was going to use the feeders. The Greenfinches soon turned up.

After lunch it was time to meet up with CR and see if any White Letter Hairstreaks were flitting around the Butterfly Zone. The sun had gone behind some hazy cloud but is was still warm enough and there was little wind.
We scanned around and looked to see what else we could find when C found this rather dapper Meadow Plant Bug
We reciprocated by spotting C's first Tree Bee, a rather small one not much bigger than a Common Carder Bee. A little further into the zone we found another more typically large one.
All around were loads of Common Red Soldier Beetles.

The grassland was smothered in skippers both Large and Small Skippers and there were large numbers of Meadow Browns. A few Speckled Woods got up from their hiding places when the sun returned, A Large White then two Small Whites flitted through. 

Female Small Skipper

Male Small Skipper
More excitingly there was a Brown Hawker and later our first Common Darter of the year, a female Common Blue Damselfly was also seen.
Concerted scanning of the tree tops eventually revealed a single White Letter Hairstreak that skipped across a gap between two trees three times, it simply refused to drop on to the thistles where were waiting camera at the ready.
Birdwise a Chiffchaff 'hweeted' and a Great Spotted Woodpecker 'chipped'. A male Sparrowhawk flew through the trees carrying prey and seconds later the begging calls of one or more young was heard.
Where to next? More moffs hopefully but after that we're not sure where our safari might take us...somewhere a little further than of recent perhaps?
In the meantime let us know what refused to come down from the tree tops in your outback.


cliff said...

Nice to get a bit of sunshine finally Dave - & to finally spot my first Tree Bees, I doubt I'd have distinguished them from the other bees if you hadn't pointed them out, hopefully I've now got my eye in for them.

Love that Scalloped Oak moth, great shot of it too. I'm more confused than ever with the skipper ID's though, I'd have had that last one down as a Small Skipper [insert confused face smiley here].

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Good spot Cliff - embarrassing typo - male Small Skipper it is!