Saturday, July 02, 2011

A great day out!.....

Wood Ants,Bedford Perlieus.

Wood Ant,Bedford Perlieus.

Female Silver-washed Fritillary.

White-letter Hairstreak,Bedford Perlieus.
A day out today with Dave and Colin to a few sites in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire resulted in a fantastic day's wildlife watching.The first site we visited was the superb NNR at Bedford Perlieus,were we enjoyed a multitude of different species.Bird wise,the highlight of the day went to a cracking male Honey Buzzard watched soaring over the woodland here in the company of 2 Common Buzzard and was a real bonus as we searched the extensive woodland rides.Other bird sightings included several Red Kites,Nuthatch and Marsh Tits and a single Crossbill.The real reason to visit this site was to see what butterflies we could see and they certainly came up with the goods today,with superb views of both the beautiful Silver-washed Fritillary and the diminutive White-letter Hairstreak as both species showed brilliantly while nectaring on the woodland flowers,the Silver-washed being particularly stunning,what a cracking species!.Another surprise sighting was a single Dark-green Fritillary,my second sighting of the year.Other insects seen included my first Common Darter of the year,a female Black-tailed Skimmer,Speckled,Dark and Roesel's-bush Cricket's with a huge Wood Ant nest also found.After enjoying this super site we moved onto Fairmyn Wood.The main target here was obviously Purple Emperor,and we managed at least 6 individuals of this beautiful woodland butterfly,which included 1 on the ground and an egg-laying female,watched in a Sallow.Other butterfly species seen here included a single Silver-washed Fritillary,6 White Admiral,which were my first of the year and a couple of Dragonfly species also which included 3 Brown Hawker and 2 Southern Hawker.Birds seen here included a distant Red Kite,Grasshopper Warbler and a bathing Garden Warbler.Mammal sightings were provided today by a couple of Foxes and 3 lovely Fallow Deer.Some very nice plants were also enjoyed today and included Violet and Broad-leaved Helleborine's,the former being a new species for myself.A superb day out,with several first sightings of the year and an impressive 18 species of butterfly!.

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