Sunday, 6 July 2014

It's that time of year again

The Safari wasn't sure what today. First up was a trip up the garden to empty the moth trap. It had cooled down a bit overnight but not enough to put the moths off entirely. 
There were a few nice ones in there including our first Scalloped Oak of the year and a nice visitor we don't see that often 
 Single Dotted Wave
Luckily we weren't over-run with Large Yellow Underwings but neither did we have any of the hawkmoths we were hoping for.
A bonny Caddisfly needs the help of those very clever iSpotters.
The garden had some nice light too so we had a bit of an arty moment
We weren't able to get out until lunchtime as usual, we'd watched the weather and it was fine but a little too windy for what we were thinking of, a trip to Chat Alley to look for cetaceans and sea-birds. We needed an alternative so seeing as it was sunny we decided to bob down to Patch 1. OK we had an inkling that something might be happening in the sunshine as the old social media had been reporting White Letter Hairstreaks appearing at the start of last week at the other end of the motorway and we're usually about a week behind them. No chance of them emerging in the all day rain on Friday but yesterday finished quite warm and pleasant finishing with a quickly warming morning we were just a little bit optimistic.
We hoped Frank would be able to make the walk, we didn't fancy driving just round the corner, but we needn't have worried he seemed up for it today and once past his usual faltering places seemed to realise where he was going and off he went at (for him) breakneck speed eager to get there. We had to stop him as a Kestrel was resting up on the Peregrine's ledge, first of the year on Patch 1!
Once in Patch 1 we heard Long Tailed Tits and a Blackcap singing, the same one we'd heard at Base Camp while we were emptying the moth trap?
A Brown Hawker patrolled the hot almost still interior of the glade. It was hot in there, as is usual. Frank found his favourite and only little bit of shade.
He looks a bit glum cos we'd just whacked a well bedded in Clegg drinking copious amounts of blood from the near end of his snout. We'd just about bathed in insect repellent before leaving Base Camp and had sprayed him all over where he couldn't lick but still one got him! Horrors they are!!!
Meadow Browns, Large Skippers were all over as were bees, at least half of all bees were Tree Bees, the sound track was the chirping of grasshoppers, almost no human noise down here at all - bliss!
It only took us a matter of minutes to come across our main quarry. A couple of flits up in the top of the Sycamore told us that the White Letter Hairstreaks had indeed emerged as we'd deduced (= hoped).
Eventually our patience was rewarded by one coming down to nectar on the Brambles - isn't that the old saying 'everything comes to he who waits'?
 We were joined by a real entomologist, BB, on his hoverfly mission he braved the depths of the  'habitat'.
The White Letter Hairstreaks continued to show on and off (more off than on) to the patient wait-er and eventually we got a pic of one with our phone.
Happy, happy days.
We were there a good three hours and by now it was getting close to Frank's tea-time. Time to think about heading back to Base Camp but not before we'd heard a Chiffchaff and seen a family of Dunnocks and Wrens.
Where to next? Back to Patch 2 buit not until lunchtime tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know who's hunch paid off in your outback.


Scyrene said...

Lovely photos :)

Warren Baker said...

Nice WLH's Davyman, I had hoped for Purple Hairstreak to come down and visit the Brambles, but no luck yet!