Monday, 30 June 2014

Farm survey

Sunday 29 June 2014

Always worth rising early when you get glimpses of young foxes and Roe deer. Bird survey not very noteworthy though good to see a Reed Bunting - surprisingly unusual considering the water filled ditches and short river frontage.

Best flower of the morning was this, which has to be a Pyramidal Orchid.

Transect butterfly survey at Ewelme in the afternoon with my 17th species for the year - a rather tatty Gatekeeper. Numbers of Small Tortoiseshells continue to surprise with 44 counted!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Pigs at it

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Fascinating watching the antics of the garden hedgehogs on the infrared camera. 3 of them present at one point but mainly 2, the mail trying to have his evil ways with a female but she wasn't having any and just kept backing away.
As the weather looks like going downhill I thought I would do my Ewelme butterfly transect and, although range of species was very low I managed a record count of Small Tortoiseshells - 34. But where are the Whites of Blues?

Saturday, 21 June 2014

BIG workday

Saturday 21 June 2014

The day started off well with this Song Thrush collecting food for its offspring. Strangely enough it was in the same area that girls, last week, struggled to "charm" any worms out of the ground.

The workday went reasonably well though we could have done with a few more volunteers and the food was up to its usual standard.

Good numbers but...

Friday 20 June 2014

With the weather much better than yesterday decided to do my Butterfly transect. First time counted over 50 individuals (53) and there were 21 Small Tortoiseshells. Managed to find a Large Skipper but no sign of yesterdays Ringlet or Marbled White. Lovely Scarlet Tiger sunning itself.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

I'll never work it out

Thursday 19 June 2014

Tidying up the allotment I came across this beastie:
Bryony Ladybird Larvae

Decided the weather was not suitable for a butterfly transect so thought I would just have a casual walk round the Watercress Beds in the drizzle and promptly ran into 3 new species for the year. First a Ringlet closely followed by a Marbled White and then a Large Skipper. Total for the site this year now up to 16.

Large Skipper    

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Work and insects

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Good couple of days working on the beds with great help from the Wallingford Green Gym on Tuesday and the "regulars" today. Yet another workday on Saturday from 0930 to about 1530 with lunch supplied - not to be missed!

Butterfly transect this afternoon with numbers of Small Tortoiseshells and Meadow Browns slowly increasing. The small pond had Azure Damselflies, and one each of Blue Tailed, Large Red and Banded Demoiselle

Large Red Damselfly

Banded Demoiselle Damselfly

Monday, 16 June 2014

Bits & Bobs

Monday 16 June 2014

Not a great deal about on the Bird or Butterfly front so here's a few misc items - hope I have the correct ID's.

Bee Orchid

24 Spot Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird pupa

Mint Leaf Beetle

Nursery Web Spider

Soldier Fly

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Busy few days

Sunday 15 June 2014

Wednesday saw the Benson Rainbows visiting the Watercress beds where they did some stream dipping and worm charming with mixed results; one group "charmed" 10 worms but the other only 1. All the usual were netted in the stream with 10 spine stickleback and several Bullhead being the highlights especially when viewed under the USB microscope. True to form several girls managed to fill there wellies with cold stream water.

On Thursday we entertained the Benson Brownies doing much the same as the day before but with the addition of a nature ramble round some of the paths round the meadow.

Friday evening saw me setting up moth traps down at Millbrook mead for the "Moth Breakfast" on the Saturday morning. It looked quite promising, even though there were a few drops of rain, with 2 Scarlet Tigers near the trap when I left.

Unfortunately we had an horrendous storm in the night and I had all but resolved to go down in the morning and retrieve the equipment and then ring various people to explain that it was canceled. To my surprise both lamps were still glowing on my arrival at 0530 in spite of 30 mm of rain overnight and the traps appeared to have plenty of interest.

I still await the final list from our "expert" Marc Botham but we probably caught close to 100 species and as a bonus there were 3 Large Skippers on show.

here are some of my favourite moths from the traps:

Beatuful Hook-tip
Buff Arches

Figure of 80

Small Elephant Hawkmoth

Small Yellow Wave

Swallow Prominant

Friday, 13 June 2014

13th Butterfly

Thursday 13 June 2014

First Meadow Browns of 2014 at Ewelme - almost a month earlier that 2013 but about average since 2009.

Monday, 9 June 2014

And now a pic

Monday 9 June 2014

Common Spotted Orchid that escaped the ravishes (so far) of the marauding rabbits.

Sunday, 8 June 2014


Sunday 8 June 2014

Ewelme Watercress Beds - Birds and butterflies disappointing but managed to find 7 Common Spotted Orchids - never seen this number before but couldn't find any Bee Orchids.

Friday, 6 June 2014

First Dragon of 2014

Friday 6 June 2014

All quiet on the bird front and butterflies not much better but the first 4 Spot chaser of the year together with a few Azure Damsels and a Large Red. Something is surviving in the pond - I saw a tadpole near the surface which seems to have survived the ravishes of Heron and Mallard.

PS Just remembered a young grass snake during a guided walk on the 1st.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

X rated - probably

Tuesday 3 June 2014

So what are these Harlequins at - apart from the obvious. Need an expert - Helen.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Nest box residents

Monday 2 June 2014

Not birds in this box in my garden:

But a colony of the recent arrival to the British wildlife - Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum).

Luckily other garden nest boxes have played host to Starling and House Sparrow, both families successfully fledged now.

More Damsels but not in distress

Sunday 1 June 2014

At last some life in the small pond - Large Red Damselfly, a Banded Demoiselle and several Azures while showing visitors around. Also, elsewhere, an Ephemera vulgata. Strange we never seem to find Mayfly nymphs in the watercress beds, though we do further downstream but this one obviously just hatched, metamorphosed or whatever.