Lots of butterflies out in the sun. On Tuesday we saw a gatekeeper at ‘Thistle Corner’ on the Pony Wood path, commas, a peacock, and lots of whites as we progressed round the wood; speckled woods in the Orchard; small skippers in West Field and the Hay Meadow, plus meadow browns of course. We also saw a smallish dragonfly in the woodland extension, too distant to identify, and the marmalade hoverfly photographed below. A jay was squeaking like a monkey in the wood.
Today more gatekeepers at Thistle Corner, plus the one photographed below in the hedge between Big Meadow and School Pond. A greenfinch was calling noisily near the gates between Big Meadow and Grammar School Field.
Mandy Bannon sent this message by email:
Mike took this photograph of a writhing bundle of big orange caterpillars – yesterday ( July 11th) on Pony Wood – Aldcliffe Rd path. It was about 5 yards down from the bend where the bench is (on Flora field side of the path). If you zoom in, you’ll see above the caterpillar masse is a fine cobwebby structure that they appeared to be leaving.
Do you know what they might be?
Purple Ramping Fumitory
Walking along the Long Pads footpath this afternoon and spotted Mr Toad.
Last year we discovered the rather rare plant Purple ramping Fumitory on our land. I marked the spot and took a look this afternoon. There it was!
This magnificent but slightly damaged moth was hiding in the thistles alongside the path to the east of Pony Wood.
The fat wasp looking thing was on the fence near the Cromwell Rd entrance to Fauna. Is it a lighter giant horsefly?
Whilst “helping” with the meadow surgery on July 2nd we spotted a sparrow hawk carrying prey along the hedge (Big Meadow and Hay Meadow), an overflying curlew and heard a song thrush at the bottom of an Aldcliffe Rd garden There were numerous meadow browns and a silver y moth
Three baby swallows, waiting to be fed, by the hedge along the Long Pads
One got lucky.
Yesterday (Sunday June 14th) Mike was surprised by a male(?) roe deer (with small antlers) running towards him down the Pony Wood Path (Mike was at the Longpads gate). The deer veered away from him as soon as he saw Mike and jumped over the fence , running across Flora Field. This was at 2.45pm! It’s good to know the path is being used by a variety of wildlife!
And from me a song thrush , swallows and house martins in Flora Field and a tortoiseshell butterfly, a wasps nest and numerous yellow ladybirds on the beetle bank.
Fraser reported seeing 2 hare in West Field today and friends had seen two going away from West Field over the Drumlin a few days ago. Also we spotted a large and smaller hare ( a young one?) in the maize field by the cycle track this morning. I don’t know the extent of their territory.
This morning (approx 6am) two roe deer emerged from the bottom of Pony Wood, crossed the farm track and ran up through the field towards Aldcliffe. Haven’t seen deer there for months. Also 8 shelducks in West Field and a hare in Flora Field
Over the past few days we have seen meadow pipits, mistle thrush and one hare in Flora Field and 5 or 6 oyster catchers in West Field.