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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.