Peacocks in Strange Places and a Post Olympic Gold

Two for one today as I didn’t get around to making a posting yesterday, so I’ll try to make up for it.

Two quite contrasting days weather-wise as yesterday saw almost continuous sunshine which encouraged lots of butterflies with very nearly double figures of species – Red Admiral, Comma, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and most exciting my first (for the year) Holly Blue and Painted Lady. Only the second of these stayed long enough to get a picture,  albeit whilst nectaring high up on the Buddleia

Painted Lady

Dragonflies were also very active including Emperor, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker and a Black-tailed Skimmer which entertained by flying around and perching on the gravel between the centre and the pond, but defied having its picture taken, but there was a Common Darter that posed quite nicely.

Common Darter perched on dead Buddleia flower head

Not sure whether the odd pattern of weather has confused some of our birds, but there appears to be a Great Crested Grebe sitting on a nest by the reed-bed to the left of the Ivy South Hide. One visitor reported seeing a changeover and what looked like a couple of eggs.

Great Crested Grebe on nest

Seems a bit late in the season to be starting a family, but guess if they failed earlier in the year then they are giving it another go.  Otherwise not much to report although a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker – note red on crown shows it’s a youngster

was giving the seed feeder outside the Woodland hide some serious attention. There are  still a few young Common Terns on the rafts in Ivy Lake and we are starting to see the return of a few more ducks.

Moth numbers have been good and today there were over 170 macro moths and a good number of micro moths in the light trap. Of course ‘s not only moths that get attracted by the light, on Friday there was a Hornet and regularly there are beetles and occasional lacewings. This morning I was quite surprised to find two Peacock butterflies in the trap. I’d heard that others have had butterflies, but haven’t seen them myself.  Last week I used the dark underside of a  Peacock as a quiz question to you all, but this slightly angled shot of one in the trap shows quite a rich colour pattern.

Underside of Peacock butterfly

Another sort of peacock is the Sharp-angled Peacock moth. of which there were 16 today, and a few of them flew a short distance onto my recording sheet and reference book.

Sharp-angled Peacock – checking out that I’d recorded it correctly

After emptying out the moth trap the weather started to deteriorate and tentative plans to carry out some tidying-up got sidetracked by a number of issues, not the least of which was getting our septic tank emptied and ensuring no-one parked so the lorry couldn’t get in to clear it.   The heavy rain literally put a damper on outside activity, but I guess the day was considerably brightened by one of the moths which prompted part of the title of todays posting – this rather splendid  Gold Spot – with which I’ll leave you.

Gold Spot




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