It was good to get out again on Friday with BT and in particular JB as its been seven long months since we last met up for a days birding and quite some time since JB got out because of an upset with his health which is hopefully all behind him now....Good to be back John and away we go.
Orange Tip. David Cookson.
But first, a female Orange Tip butterfly with thanks to David Cookson....brilliant macro David.
We first called in at Birk Bank with the express hope of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary over the bog here, but no luck in perfect habitat on a perfect day near the end of May. This butterfly can be seen on the wing in late April in the south, and late May up here in the north, so something of a disappointment. On the insect trail it was good to see a Green Tiger Beetle, an active little predator and my first in a long time. Regarding birds, I heard my fifth Cuckoo of the year distant from where we were, and saw a solitary Redpoll. In the Jubilee Tower area and on Abbeystead Lane, 2 Linnet noted and one or two Lapwing with young to be seen. At Abbeystead at least one Spotted Flycatcher seen and a Blackcap in song.
In the Marshaw/Tower Lodge area it was interesting to see/hear Redpoll and Siskin, with good views of male and female Crossbill here again. I'm convinced there are decent to good numbers of all three of these species in this area being seen for the the second time in two visits here in as many weeks, given the opportunity and time I'm determined to find out before the summer is out. Also of note with much less time here than my recent 5 hours, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Nuthatch, a Common Sandpiper, and 2 Cuckoo heard from the left and right of Trough Bridge made my total seven individuals, a Green Woodpecker was seen briefly in flight.
Now for two insect pics, one very professionally executed, the other by comparison pretty awful....
First the very professional one of the Banded Demioselle with thanks to Marc Heath....another brilliant macro Marc.
Lily Beetle. Pete Woodruff.
And....the 'pretty awful' one by yours truly of the Lily Beetle which are a serious pest in many gardens but not in mine, it was a welcome 'first' for me and I'm never likely to see this creature as a pest in my garden....ever!
Have you signed the 'Buzzard' Petition in my left hand sidebar yet, if not I wonder if you would do so right now please.