30 Days Wild - Day 29

 30 Days Wild - Day 29 ~ 29th June 2015 ~

I had a fairly wild day today: I spent a wonderful few hours this morning exploring my patch with my mum and our dog, then instead of sitting inside at home I sat outside in the garden and spotted some cool species and this evening I took our dog for a walk round our local meadow which is always a nice way to round off the day.

On patch the highlights were definitely hearing a male Nightjar churring which totally confused me at first considering they're normally crepuscular creatures. But I wasn't mistaken because it churred on 3 occasions and I then flushed it when I went to investigate. I think I'll be back soon to see if there's a nest nearby or if it's even still in that area. I also saw (and heard) loads of Sylvia warblers, namely Dartfords and Whitethroats, but plenty of skulking Blackcaps and Garden Warblers too. In addition to this there were plenty of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers around obviously with nests hidden away nearby. Other species that I saw on my wanderings included my first Marbled White of the year, Silver-washed Fritillary (I think), Silver-studded Blue and a large dragonfly that flew past me way too quick for me to identify it.

In our garden, though it's not very big, on a sunny and warm day it is lovely to just sit with your eyes closed for a while and listen. I heard loads of House Martins and watched their aerobatic acrobats for a long time too as they wheeled around in the air above me. I also heard a Buzzard calling somewhere in the distance, heard lots of bees buzzing and saw a few butterflies as well.

Here are some photos from today with a little description for each:

Panorama of 'West End' which is one of my favourite parts of my patch.
Saw some juvenile Dartford Warblers here so that's another pair
I didn't know about - they seem to have had a good year!
Burnet moth
Silver-studded Blue butterfly
(Plebejus argus)
A feather I found but I'm not sure what it's from - Pheasant I think.
Foxglove Pug
(Eupithecia pulchellata)
on the wall by our front door.
Hawthorn Shieldbug
(Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)
on our back door.

30 Days Wild - Day 28

 30 Days Wild - Day 28 ~ 28th June 2015 ~

This morning I was up early to go ringing and was picked up at 5.15 to get on site for 5.30. We set all the usual nets and got a table set up at our base, ready to receive the local RSPB Wildlife Explorers Group for a bird ringing demonstration.

They arrived at about 7.00 by which time we had already caught and processed 4 birds - 1 Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita), 1 Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), 1 Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) and a Robin (Erithacus rubecula) and we had two birds from our previous round left to ring. 1 was a very special bird indeed and as far as I'm aware it's the first for the site too!! It was a Nuthatch (Sitta europaea). Nuthatch are stunning birds but sadly not one I've encountered very often over the last few years, given that this bird is only the 3rd Nuthatch I've ever ringed!

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
Juvenile Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
We continued to catch a reasonable number of birds, mainly juveniles, until the RSPB group departed at around 9.30. I always enjoy doing ringing demonstrations, especially when there's lot of kids in the audience because you never know, one of those young people might be completely inspired by what they've seen and go on to be the next Jane Goodall or David Attenborough!!

Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)

After the group left, we caught quite a few more birds, including a lovely Song Thrush and a Jay.

Jay (Garrulus glandularis)
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

We ended the morning getting absolutely drenched once we'd packed up all the kit and were heading back to the car at about midday.

The totals for the morning are as follows (re-traps in brackets):

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) - 10
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) - 5
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) - 9
Dunnock (Prunella modularis) - 5 (2)
Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) - 1
Jay (Garrulus glandarius) - 1
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) - 1
Robin (Erithacus rubecula) - 5
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) - 1
Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) - 4 (1)
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) - 2 (1)

Total: 44 (4)

Some other pictures from this morning:

Cinnabar Moth caterpillar feeding on Ragwort
Ringlet butterfly (Aphantopus hyperantus)
Bee species (I'm rubbish at bees so any help
with identification is much appreciated)

30 Days Wild - Day 26

 30 Days Wild - Day 26 ~ 26th June 2015 ~

Today I made the most of the beautiful weather and sat in the garden for a while which was lovely. I also saw a moth on the wall by our front door which is, so I've been told, a micro moth going by the latin name of Endotrichia flammealis. I didn't get a very good photo, but here it is:

Endotrichia flammealis