Friday, 29 June 2018

The warm weather continues...


As of yesterday, the monitoring of the Common Terns on the rafts at Pitsford Reservoir has confirmed that eighty chicks have been hatched, it's certainly a very good year for them! There are several family parties of Mute Swans on-site and a Common Sandpiper was also present on the reserve yesterday (together with some failed breeding Lapwings).

Today and a lunch-time visit to Harrington Airfield in warm and breezy conditions provided views of at least one pair of Grey Partridge and fledged juveniles of both Willow Warbler and Whitethroat. A constantly singing Lesser Whitethroat is a good sign of a second breeding attempt by the pair near the second bunker. Butterflies seen there today included a couple of Marbled Whites, a good hatch of Small Heaths and smaller numbers of Common Blues. Burnett and Cinnabar Moths were also on the wing.

An unexpected find in the garden here at Hanging Houghton late this afternoon was of a Purple Emperor butterfly! Initially it was on the parched back lawn and then moved to the nearby magnolia. With the nearest known population to us being Fermyn Wood and with strong northerly winds, this nomad is assumed to have come from there. It was a distinctive individual as it's right hind wing was curled back a little. This didn't seem to impede flight and might help track this butterfly if seen elsewhere.

Feeding mixed seed on the lawn also provides a regular feeding haunt for some of the bigger birds which includes local pigeons and doves...


Neil M

Small Heath.

Juvenile Willow Warbler.

Purple Emperor butterfly
at Hanging Houghton.


The handsome Stock Dove.

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