The Safari had a bit of rather belated good news in the form of the first juvenile Goldfinch of the year, very very late but as they say better late than never.
Pic taken through dirty kitchen window
Later in the morning, between chores, we had a quick session with many Blue Tailed Damselflies around the pond
After lunch we gave Patch 1 another go to see if we could get a pic or to of the White Letter Hairstreaks we saw but were unable to photograph yesterday.
On the way you have to pass the most amazingly scented Philadelphus hedge...wish you had smell-a-vision for this one!
The track leads through a bit of scratty woodland and opens out onto the Bramble thicket and grassland where the butterflies thrive.
For anyone localish wishing to see them have a shuffy at the screenshot below.
After waiting around a bit to see if it would present itself in better light we resolved to see if we could find and photograph 10 species of butterflies at the site, tricky but not out of the question.
Large Skippers were abundant and easy. Two down eight to go.Small Skippers were slightly less numerous but didn't pose any problems in getting a pic or two.
Meadow Browns were the most numerous species of the day with, an uncounted, well over 100. They were so flighty in the warm conditions they actually proved to be the most difficult to get a pic of but we persevered.
A bit of a lull ensued as we had a wander down the field to look for Common Blues, Gatekeepers and maybe a Small Copper but had no joy. Glad we took insect repellant though as the Cleggs were horrendous!
We did see the swifts again and a family of Whitethroats. In the scrub we heard two Chiffchaffs singing and a Blackcap chacking.
The park has an interesting looking Larch tree just waiting for a Crossbill or two to call by.
Another wait by the right tree was successful again
and we also managed to find a Speckled Wood (5) which was settled and not flying up and down at 100 mph.
A look back towards the scratty woods gave us a Comma (6) which we thought would never come out of thick cover
Brown Hawker that was flying around refusing to settle.
The place is crawling with bioabudance, how much more would there have been 20 years ago?
Chrysotoxum festivum we believeA couple of lads walked along the track and disturbed a Red Admiral (7) which just about gave itself up to the camera after a short flit about.
The field is also becoming a bit of an experiment in 'rewilding' with Oak and Ash saplings beginning to seed into the grassland.
Even though we were well covered in repellent a Clegg got us a big bit on a bad place on our bad hand and it started to swell very disconcertingly so it was time to leave but to leaver the site we had to pass the brambles again and once again they didn't disappoint.
With a Honey Bee for size comparisonBrambles as far as we could to get a pic with our phone
Where to next? More mini-beast safari-ing tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know who's had letters drawn on them in your outback.