29 June 2013

Midsummer at the patch

Unsurprisingly quiet at the patch today. A juv. Cuckoo out on Staines Moor was the highlight. Also logged 3 Red Kite over, 3 Common Tern (2 along the Colne, 1 W), c200 Starlings (mainly juveniles) around the cattle, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Pied Wagtail N and 1 Barn Swallow W. At least 2 pairs of Reed Warbler in Butt's Pond are now feeding young (there's 3 territories in the small reedbed here). Watched a pair foraging at close range and feeding a couple of fledglings. Buggers to photograph though - they didn't stay still for a second!

Adult Reed Warbler, Butt's Pond

Juvenile Reed Warbler, Butt's Pond

1f Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa was also at Butt's Pond, quite a few Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens around, mainly along Bonehead Ditch, and Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum are all over the moor at the moment and must number many thousands.

Male Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

Female Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

So far it appears to be another poor year for butterflies. Lots of Small Heaths Coenonympha pamphilus around, but otherwise just 1 Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus, 1 Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae, 1 Peacock Aglais io and 2 Meadow Browns Maniola jurtina noted. Moths noted today were 1 Yellow Shell Camptogramma bilineata, a few Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae and quite a few Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella micro-moths.

Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus, Bonehead Ditch

Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella - a grassland specialist, as indicated by the blade of grass

Quite a lot of Water Forget-me-not Myosotis scorpioides growing along Bonehead Ditch. Common, but beautiful!

Gutted most of the pools have dried up. Despite the ridiculous amount of rain we've had over the last year, Staines Moor is very dry. Sadly, no Redshank or Lapwing have bred this year and I was hoping the pools might bring in a Wood Sand this autumn. The moor is desperately in need of some permanent marshy pools with muddy edges!

Stanwell Moor was also very quiet. The best was 1 Hobby hunting, 1 Common Buzzard over west and a Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria.

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