Monday, 27 May 2013

GRIZZLED SKIPPER Pyrgus malvae aberration taras

 Penhale sands near Perranporth on Cornwall's North coast is one of the last strongholds for this species in the county. The colony here also holds a high percentage of the rare aberration " taras" and what would appear to be intermediate forms these forms have more extensive white markings on the upper forewing giving it a quite striking appearance in comparison to the nominate form. This rare and very attractive aberration only occurres at a handful of sites in Britain so we are fortunate indeed to be able to find them here in our county.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Singing Wood Warbler

 Kate and I spent another day in Devon on Saturday, Holden Hill to see Pearl-bordered Fritillaries of which we saw well over twenty including an ovipositing female, also there were Dingy Skipper and plenty of Brimstones, Orange Tips, Green-veined Whites etc. The highlight of the day for me was this singing Wood Warbler at Yarner Wood. I have never managed to get any decent video of these little songsters before, this one was chasing off a rival and after successfully evicting it out of his territory decided to perch for a while just a few yards in front of us to have a preen and to sing as if in celebration of his victory. What a shame these gorgeous little Warblers don't breed here in Cornwall.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Drake Garganey. Helston Boating Lake.

 This afternoon Kate and I visited Helston to see a splendid drake Garganey that was found earlier today on the boating lake by our good friend Steve Rogers. Garganey breed throughout mainland Europe with a few pairs breeding in Britain. Here in Cornwall they are usually only seen on Spring and Autumn passage. They are usually timid ducks often found on vegetated lakes, It's not very often you get the chance to have really good views of them but this one had nowhere to hide on this small boating lake so was easy to see even though it spent most of the time out in the middle of the lake. Fortunately after spending nearly two hours hoping for some closer encounters it decided to come out on to the pool side where it had a brief preen before returning to the water. What an opportunity to see up-close this really beautiful duck! All thanks to Steve! Cheers mate!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Spring returns to Yarner Wood

 Yarner wood near Bovey Tracey in Devon is one place Kate and I love to visit each Spring. As it was Kate's birthday on Sunday we thought it would be nice to spend her special day there. Being early in May and with the cold start to Spring we weren't sure whether many of the summer breeding species had returned to the wood. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the wood was alive with birds and birdsong. Numerous Pied Flycatchers were already investigating the nest boxes, Wood Warblers were in full voice, Redstarts and Tree Pipits were seen and heard and resident species like the Mandarins were on the pond. Maybe best of all was a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker calling high in the canopy and as there were hardly any leaves on the trees all were easy to see, even the Lesser Spot once we located her. Butterflies too were on the wing with numerous Bimstones encountered throughout the wood, several courting couples were seen spiralling skyward. Orange tips, Speckled woods, Holly Blues, Green veined and Small whites were all out and about on this beautiful sunny Spring day. and to round the day off a Roe Deer or two put in an appearence. All in all Yarner Wood never fails to impress. As ever we had a thoroughly enjoyable day out!!

Friday, 3 May 2013

 An adult Lesser Yellowlegs was found yesterday at Marazion Marsh. These Tringa waders are rare vagrants from North America, they are regular autumn visitors to Cornwall but very rare in spring. This is the first summer plumaged adult I have seen in the county hence my visit to the marsh yesterday afternoon.