Brockholes Nature Reserve - 24th July 2010

Okay I thought I'd start the post with this juvenile Robin as I haven't posted much about birds lately on what started out as a birding blog and it looked kinda cute sat amongst the undergrowth. More about birds later, the reason for this trip down to Brockholes NR was again to try and see the White-letter Hairstreak. The sun had been out all morning but by the time I managed my visit it was still warm but the sun was behind a mass of white cloud so spotting one was going to be difficult. The caterpillar feeds exclusively on the leaves of elm and the butterfly feeds on the honeydew in the canopy of elms only occasionaly coming down to feed on brambles or thistles in the warmth of sunlight. On my walk up to the area they had previously been sighted I counted 20+ Meadow Browns amongst the grass as well as several Gatekeepers, Small Tortoiseshell and Green-veined White. As I approached the brambles several species were feeding and taking in the warmth and while l scanning through them a single White-letter Hairstreak flew from the bottom of the brambles and perched on a high branch.
ABOVE AND BELOW WHITE-LETTERED HAIRSTREAK
Other species on the Brambles including those already mentioned were Coma, Peackock and Small White.
ABOVE PEACOCK BELOW COMA
BELOW SMALL WHITE IN FLIGHT AND 2 GATEKEEPERS
Bill and Mike joined me but as Mike arived the White-letter Hairstreak flew back into the woods not to return on our visit.
Text had been coming through over the last few days about a Hobby that has been hunting around the M6 end of pool No1 so this was the next stop with the hope of seeing my first one of the year. Nick Green (who later spotted an Osprey breifly over the Ribble) and several other birders were watching the Hobby as it sat on the top of a lamp post. I managed a few record shots including a poor one in flight but it was just to far for my 300mm lens.
ABOVE HOBBY ON ITS REGULAR PERCH AND BELOW POOR FLIGHT SHOT
Once the Hobby flew off I spotted a female Common Darter which thankfully stayed around while both Mike and I photgraphed it.
TOP, MIDDLE AND BOTTOM FEMALE COMMON DARTER
A single Small Skipper few from under the undergrowth, the first I'd seen but not much different from the Large Skipper I photographed a few weeks ago here.
ABOVE AND BELOW SMALL SKIPPER

2 comments:

Stu said...

Hobby is a nice find, I only ever saw one back in the UK a long long time ago......

Derek Gallagher said...

The Hobby seems to be a yearly visitor to Brockholes with 2 juveniles and 1 adult been seen this year and I can't lay claim to the find as I get a text if anything interesting is around the Lancs area.