Natural History Diary : June 2019
Sunday 30th June
It's amazing how the weather can change in a day. It was fairly cool and mostly cloudy this morning. I headed to Silchester Common in Hampshire. Since my last visit there had been a lot of scrub clearance, presumably to allow heather to regrow. There were also cattle on the common, which I don't recall seeing there before. I managed to kick up a few Silver-studded Blues in their usual area, but it wasn't until the sun came out that they became active, flying low over heather and other vegetation looking for females. I saw about ten males and three females altogether. There weren't many other butterflies active, and I saw no dragonflies, but I did see a Slow-worm.
I retraced my steps as far as Fence Wood (while waiting for the level crossing at Thatcham I watched a House Sparrow take down an airborne Banded Demoiselle). It has become warmer by now (but still 10 degrees cooler than yesterday), and there were more butterflies about in the wood. The majority were Ringlets, with only a few Meadow Browns and Ringlets. Usually Silver-washed Fritillaries are numerous here, but I could only find four today. I couldn't find any White Admirals, but I was surprised to find a fresh male Dark Green Fritillary, which I initially mistook for a Comma. I'd never seen a DGF in this wood before. I found a Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, a species I hadn't seen before. An oddity was a Green Tiger Beetle - it had one bright green and one dull green wing case. I didn't see any dragonflies here.
I did manage to see one odonate today - a Common Blue Damselfly in the garden.
Silver-studded Blue ♂, Silchester Common, 30-Jun
Silver-studded Blue ♀, Silchester Common, 30-Jun
Dark Green Fritillary ♂, Fence Wood, 30-Jun
Silver-studded Blue ♂ | Silchester Common Silver-studded Blue ♀ | Silchester Common Dark Green Fritillary ♂ | Fence Wood
Saturday 29th June
The temperature was already 22°C when I got to the north side of Aston Rowant NNR at 09:00. There was a Painted Lady flying around the car park. It was missing substantial amounts of both hind wings, but this didn't impede it much. I walked down the slope, where the bramble flowers had attracted more PLs, a couple of Small Tortoiseshells and Red Admirals. Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites and Small Heaths were numerous. At the sunken path there were three or four Dark Green Fritillaries, but they were very active and didn't settle at all. Further west there wasn't a lot else except for a fresh Comma of form hutchinsoni. On the way back there was much less activity on the brambles; the temperature was probably too high (it was around 28°C at 11:00). (Today's count of 16 Painted Ladies was the highest number I'd seen in one place since 2009).
Later in the afternoon I saw two Small Tortoiseshells and a Commas at the allotment. Afterwards I went to Bagley Wood, but I couldn't find any Purple Hairstreaks. I did have some quality time with a male Red Admiral, which had claimed a sunny spot for itself, and kept chasing off another male which tried to intrude, before returning to the same spot to bask.
Painted Lady, Aston Rowant NNR, 29-Jun
Small Tortoiseshell, Aston Rowant NNR, 29-Jun
Red Admiral, Bagley Wood, 29-Jun
Painted Lady | Aston Rowant NNR Small Tortoiseshell ♂ | Aston Rowant NNR Red Admiral ♂ | Bagley Wood
Friday 28th June
Sunny and warm again. I visited Dry Sandford Pit, but before than I saw a couple of Painted Ladies at the allotment. At the pit there were lots of Meadow Browns and Marbled Whites from the start. There were some Ringlets as well; I came across a mating pair. I found a Southern Damselfly and a couple of Scarlet Tigers in the marsh. There was a also a Small White with a deformed wing there. A bit further on I found my first Small Skippers of the year, and a teneral Common Darter. I went back to the marsh and this time found a male Keeled Skimmer. As I was leaving I saw a Comma (f. hutchinsoni), a Brown Hawker and a Large White. At home I saw a Red Admiral in the garden.
Southern Damselfly ♂, Dry Sandford Pit, 28-Jun
Small Skipper ♂, Dry Sandford Pit, 28-Jun
Marbled White ♂, Dry Sandford Pit, 28-Jun
Southern Damselfly ♂ | Dry Sandford Pit Small Skipper ♂ | Dry Sandford Pit Marbled White ♂ | Dry Sandford Pit
Ringlets (mating pair), Dry Sandford Pit, 28-Jun
Common Darter imm. ♂, Dry Sandford Pit, 28-Jun
Keeled Skimmer, Dry Sandford Pit, 28-Jun
Ringlets | Dry Sandford Pit Common Darter imm. ♂ | Dry Sandford Pit Keeled Skimmer ♂ | Dry Sandford Pit
Thursday 27th June
At last, a sunny and warm day, slightly tempered by a north-easterly wind. I got down to Standlake Common just after 10am. There wasn't too much to see as I walked down the bridleway, but there were several juvenile Chiffchaffs, Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits in the hedgerow. I also saw a Red Admiral (five in total). After the turnoff to the north hide I started to see Common Blue Damselflies, and there were many of them. I saw a female Black-tailed Skimmer and a fresh Comma here as well.
In Langley Lane I searched for White-letter Hairstreaks, but couldn't find any. While I was looking, a Kingfisher shot out of the hedge and flew off down the lane. There were quite a few Meadow Browns in the flowery meadows, and a small number of Ringlets and Marbled Whites. A Brown Hawker was patrolling over the first field. At the far end of the lane I saw two Red Admirals and an Emperor Dragonfly.
I spent 30 minutes in the hide, but there wasn't anything unusual on pit 60. A pair of Common Terns came down to the small island in front of the hide to have a preen. The pair of Oystercatchers was vocal, as usual. Back in the lane I had another look for White-letter Hairstreaks in a more sheltered area, and this time managed to spot one up in an elm tree. It didn't really come into camera range, though.
Long-tailed Tit (juv), Standlake Common, 27-Jun
Comma, Standlake Common, 27-Jun
Common Tern, Standlake Common, 27-Jun
Long-tailed Tit (juv) | Standlake Common Comma | Standlake Common Common Tern | Standlake Common
Lapwing, Standlake Common, 27-Jun
Red Admiral, Standlake Common, 27-Jun
White-letter Hairstreak, Standlake Common, 27-Jun
Lapwing | Standlake Common Red Admiral | Standlake Common White-letter Hairstreak | Standlake Common
Wednesday 26th June
Cloudy and humid again today. There was one Painted Lady and one Meadow Brown at the allotment this morning. In the afternoon I saw a Small Tortoiseshell by the gate.
Painted Lady, Abingdon, 26-Jun
   
Painted Lady | Abingdon    
Monday 24th June
A cloudy, humid and warm day, but with spots of rain. I was at Otmoor again, doing the second butterfly survey of the season on the MoD land. The most numerous species by some margin was the Meadow Brown with at least 100 recorded. Marbled White was next, with 42 recorded. Also seen were two Small Heath, 14 Ringlet, seven Common Blue, 14 Large Skipper, one Small Tortoiseshell and one Painted Lady (first of year for me). There were a few teneral Ruddy Darters and Azure Damselflies, and one Banded Demoiselle. Moths seen were Cinnabar, Blood-vein and Burnet Companion. There was also a large Hornet searching Meadow-rue flowers for prey. We were surprised to hear a male Cuckoo - shouldn't they have gone by now? We saw a Curlew and heard both the adults calling.
On the way home I stopped at the allotment, where I saw another Painted Lady, and there was a third one on the buddleja in the garden. There must have been an influx from the continent (probably escaping the heat in France).
Small Heath, Otmoor, 24-Jun
Blood-vein, Otmoor, 24-Jun
Painted Lady, Otmoor, 24-Jun
Small Heath | Otmoor Blood-vein | Otmoor Painted Lady | Otmoor
Saturday 22nd June
The first proper summer's day for a while. Before I left the house this morning I spotted a Meadow Brown perched on my Fremontodendron bush. First stop today was at Waterperry Wood. I only saw six butterfly species here, but this was compensated for by the abundance of Large Skippers. I counted at least sixty in 30 minutes. The majority of them were nectaring on bramble flowers. I also saw two Black Hairstreaks in the blackthorn by the north gate, three Beautiful Demoiselles, a Broad-bodied Chaser and a Nuthatch.
After an hour I headed to Bernwood Forest, which was busy with dog walkers. I walked along the main ride to the pond, but there was little in the way of butterflies. At the pond a male Broad-bodied Chaser was active, and soon made use of the stick I poked in the mud. While I was watching him a male Silver-washed Fritillary appeared, and started taking liquid from the mud. On the way back to the car I saw a Black-tailed Skimmer near the meadow.
Large Blue ♂, Waterperry Wood, 22-Jun
Beautiful Demoiselle ♂, Waterperry Wood, 22-Jun
Broad-bodied Chaser ♂, Bernwood Forest, 22-Jun
Large Skipper ♀ | Waterperry Wood Beautiful Demoiselle ♂ | Waterperry Wood Meadow Brown ♂ | Bernwood Forest
Stop three was Whitecross Green Wood, which was also quite busy. I saw eleven Marbled Whites and a Dark Green Fritillary (which eluded my camera again). At last I saw an Emperor Dragonfly here; why they are so scarce this year I don't know. After lunch I went to the area north of the main track. I saw four Black Hairstreaks here (one was a female). There were two Four-spotted Chasers by the small pond, and I found a teneral male Ruddy Darter in the blackthorn.
Finally, I saw a Large White at the allotment.
Silver-washed Fritillary ♂, Bernwood Forest, 22-Jun
Black Hairstreak ♀, Whitecross Green Wood, 22-Jun
Ruddy Darter imm. ♂, Whitecross Green Wood, 22-Jun
Silver-washed Fritillary ♂ | Bernwood Forest Black Hairstreak ♀ | Waterperry Wood Ruddy Darter imm. ♂ | Waterperry Wood
Thursday 20th June
I visited Daneway Banks this morning. Unfortunately the weather didn't match the forecast - it was pretty cloudy and not very warm. Despite this, when I entered the reserve, a male Large Blue was on the wing. It perched on a leaf and opened its wings (more than you usually get from male Large Blues). The most numerous species was the Meadow Brown, with about thirty seen in 75 minutes. I also saw ten Common Blues, nine Small Heaths, six Marbled Whites and my first Ringlet of the year. I saw one other Large Blue, inside the roped-off area at the top of the bank.
By midday the weather wasn't getting any better, so I drove to Whelford Pools to have some lunch. As it was still cloudy I didn't stop, and instead went to Standlake Common. There was eventually a bit of sunshine here. I saw a few Meadow Browns and Speckled Woods, and very tatty male Brimstone. There were more odonata: two Black-tailed Skimmers, lots of Common Blue Damselflies, a couple of Blue-tailed Damselflies and three Banded Demoiselles. On the bird front, Blackcaps were singing, I saw two Chiffchaffs, a couple of Teal on Pit 60, and a Hobby.
Large Blue ♂, Daneway Banks, 20-Jun
Ringlet ♂, Daneway Banks, 20-Jun
Meadow Brown ♂, Daneway Banks, 20-Jun
Large Blue ♂| Daneway Banks Ringlet ♂ | Daneway Banks Meadow Brown ♂ | Daneway Banks
Tuesday 18th June
A Red Admiral appeared in the garden this morning (same one as yesterday?). I went on an Abingdon Naturalists walk, starting at Barton Fields and ending at Orchard Lake. It was a cloudy, warm and humid day, with light rain on and off. We heard a Cuckoo in Barton Lane. The rough ground near the start of the cycle track turned up Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies. A Common Tern was flying over the lake. In Barton Fields a Cetti's Warbler was calling. We found some fairly large Peacock caterpillars in nettles by the path, and a Common Carpet moth. Both Seven-spot and Harlequin ladybirds were found near the ponds. A Whitethroat was seen, and Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Chiffchaff were heard. A few butterflies were active: Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell and Large Skipper. What looked like an immature male Emperor Dragonfly was active. At the third pond we saw a couple of Red-eyed Damselflies and Banded Demoiselles. There were several groups of Peacock caterpillars in the nettles.
We walked back to the east end of the fields and visited Brunney Lagoon. There was a male Emperor Dragonfly patrolling and a couple of Red-eyed Damselflies were seen. A Speckled Wood was the only butterfly seen. In Nyatt Field I saw a Broad-bodied Chaser, a Cinnabar, two Yellow-shells, several Large Skippers and three Reed Buntings. There were several Pyramidal Orchid and Grass Vetchling in flower. In the track north of Orchard Lake I saw an immature Four-spotted Chaser, and Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies. On the lake a female Four-spotted Chaser was ovipositing, and two males and a male Black-tailed Skimmer kept clashing with each other. The reed bed in the middle of the lake was alive with blue damselflies. We had to call an early end to the walk because the rain was getting heavier.
Blue-tailed Damselflies, Abingdon, 18-Jun
Dock Bug, Abingdon, 18-Jun
Small Tortoiseshell, Abingdon, 18-Jun
Blue-tailed Damselflies | Abingdon Dock Bug | Abingdon Small Tortoiseshell | Abingdon
Green Dock Beetle, Abingdon, 18-Jun
Large Skipper, Abingdon, 18-Jun
Red-eyed Damselfly, Abingdon, 18-Jun
Green Dock Beetle | Abingdon Large Skipper | Abingdon Red-eyed Damselfly | Abingdon
Monday 17th June
There was a Red Admiral in the garden again this afternoon. It spent ten minutes nectaring on Buddleja alternifolia flowers, before zooming off strongly. It didn't have any wing damage, suggesting it might be a home-grown individual.
Red Admiral, Dry Sandford Pit, 15-Jun
Red Admiral, Dry Sandford Pit, 15-Jun
 
Red Admiral | Abingdon Red Admiral | Abingdon  
Sunday 16th June
Another cloudy and damp morning, but I headed to Whitecross Green Wood anyway in the hope it would clear. The wind was blowing right down the east-west ride, and I didn't see anything except a Roe Deer until the junction with the north-south ride, where a male Black-tailed Skimmer landed on the notice board. I spotted a couple of Black Hairstreaks in separate blackthorn bushes. At the crossroads I saw a Hairy Hawker and a female Black-tailed Skimmer. A bit further on I saw a tatty Small Tortoiseshell and a Red Admiral. Along the side track I saw two more Black Hairstreaks, then at the pond there were four. Surprisingly they preferred flying around on the west side of the track where the blackthorn had been cut back. I found a Yellow-tail larva by the pond. On the way back I saw a couple of Black-and-yellow Longhorn Beetles, some Large Skippers, several Meadow Browns, a fresh Small Tortoiseshell and a Marbled White, but the biggest surprise was finding a Dark Green Fritillary at the crossroads. It shot off before I could get a picture. That was the first DGF I'd ever seen in the wood. Back at the car park I saw a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
Then I went to Otmoor, although there was quite a lot of cloud by early afternoon. I walked along the roman road. I heard a Turtle Dove but couldn't find it. There were a few Meadow Browns and damselflies, but not much else. I saw a Curlew and two Hobbies over Saunder's Field. There were lots of Meadow Browns and Common Blues in the grass here, but few dragonflies. I only found four Four-spotted Chasers. I was surprised to spot a Common Tern flying along the ditch next to the bridleway. There were six Stock Doves on the track across Greenaways. I also saw a distant Marsh Harrier.
Black Hairstreak ♂, Whitecross Green Wood, 16-Jun
Small Tortoiseshell, Whitecross Green Wood, 16-Jun
Black-and-yellow Longhorn Beetle, Whitecross Green Wood, 16-Jun
Black Hairstreak ♂ | Whitecross Green Wood Small Tortoiseshell | Whitecross Green Wood Black-and-yellow Longhorn Beetle | Whitecross Green Wood
Yellow-tail (larva), Whitecross Green Wood, 16-Jun
Azure Damselfly ♀, Otmoor, 16-Jun
Four-spotted Chaser, Otmoor, 16-Jun
Yellow-tail (larva) | Whitecross Green Wood Azure Damselfly | Otmoor Four-spotted Chaser | Otmoor
Saturday 15th June
When the sun came out this afternoon a Red Admiral appeared in the garden again. I spent an hour at Dry Sandford Pit, where I saw my first Marbled White of the year, as well as some Meadow Browns and Common Blues. I aos saw a teneral Keeled Skimmer, two female Southern Damselflies, a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat.
Meadow Brown ♂, Dry Sandford Pit, 15-Jun
Marbled White ♂, Dry Sandford Pit, 15-Jun
Southern Damselfly ♀, Dry Sandford Pit, 15-Jun
Meadow Brown ♂ | Dry Sandford Pit Marbled White ♂ | Dry Sandford Pit Southern Damselfly ♀ | Dry Sandford Pit
Friday 14th June
After four days of appalling weather, a Red Admiral was nectaring on buddleia in the garden this afternoon.
Monday 10th June
While waiting for the bus to leave Redbridge park and ride this morning I saw a Mistle Thrush searching for worms on the grass adjacent to the road.
Sunday 9th June
A better day than the last two - it didn't rain! But there wasn't a lot of sun in the morning. I went to Farmoor. There wasn't anything of note on the reservoirs, except for lots of Greylag Geese. Down at Pinkhill I saw a Meadow Brown, a Common Blue, a Speckled Wood and some Common Blue Damselflies. At the back of Pinkhill I found two pairs of Azure Damselflies in copula, some Blue-tailed Damselflies, Red-eyed Damselflies and Banded Demoiselles. I only saw two dragonflies here: a Four-spotted Chaser and a Hairy Hawker. The usual warblers were present. A bit further along the river past the water inlet I saw a Red Admiral, but it wouldn't come into camera range. Lastly I saw a Cuckoo in the air at Buckthorn Meadow.
Blue-tailed Damselfly ♂, Farmoor, 09-Jun
Banded Demoiselle ♂, Farmoor, 09-Jun
Sedge Warbler, Farmoor, 09-Jun
Blue-tailed Damselfly ♂ | Farmoor Banded Demoiselle ♂ | Farmoor Sedge Warbler | Farmoor
Thursday 6th June
I drove down to Bentley Wood this morning. The weather forecast looked promising, but in the event there was a lot of cloud, and it rained not long after I'd got to the eastern clearing. Butterflies were in pretty short supply - I only spotted seventeen individuals, and seven of those were Common Blues (there never used to be Common Blues in Bentley Wood). However I did see two Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, two Meadow Browns and a Small Tortoiseshell. Birds did somewhat better, with a Tree Pipit being the pick of them. A Mistle Thrush flew over, and I saw three Blackcaps and two Chiffchaffs.
After two hours I went to Stockbridge Down, where it promptly started raining. While eating lunch in the car I watched a party of young Blue Tits foraging in a blackthorn bush. I had a walk round once the rain had stopped, but again there wasn't a great deal about. The most numerous species was Small Heath, with ten seen. I also saw one each of Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper. After 45 minutes I'd had enough (as the weather didn't look like it was going to improve), and returned home. A long journey for not much return, unfortunately.
Common Blue ♂, Bentley Wood, 06-Jun
Meadow Brown ♂, Bentley Wood, 06-Jun
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary ♀, Bentley Wood, 06-Jun
Common Blue ♂ | Bentley Wood Meadow Brown ♂ | Bentley Wood Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary ♀ | Bentley Wood
Monday 3rd June
I took part in a butterfly survey on the MoD land at Otmoor this morning. There was some sun but also a noticeable SW wind, which made it rather cooler than yesterday. Butterflies didn't do all that well. We only recorded nine species, of which Common Blue was the most numerous (11). Small Copper came in second, with six seen. I did see my first Meadow Browns of the year though. The most abundant odonate by far was the Common Blue Damselfly (easily into three figures). I also saw a Hairy Hawker, several Four-spotted Chasers and two Broad-bodied Chasers. I finally heard a Lesser Whitethroat singing. I saw a Yellowhammer and a Nuthatch. In one of the hay meadows was a pair of Curlew, which were visible as they were taller than the vegetation. Both birds took to the air when a Red Kite flew over, and the male chased the kite away. It then returned to the field, giving us some great views.
I then had a walk down the old roman road, which also didn't produce very much. A Comma was about the only species of note. Up on the bridleway I saw a couple of Four-spotted Chasers and a Hairy Hawker. I finally heard what may be the only Turtle Dove on Otmoor, and found it sitting in an Oak tree. I heard at least two Cuckoos. Two Stock Doves landed on the path on Greenaways. On the way back to the car I saw a mature male Broad-bodied Chaser.
Although the cloud was increasing, I drove over to Whitecross Green Wood and walked down to the pond. Again butterflies were in short supply, but I eventually spotted what I'd come for: a Black Hairstreak. I saw a second one a bit later. They were not very active because there wasn't much sun by mid-afternoon. There were lots of Common Blue Damselflies here too. I also saw a male Beautiful Demoiselle, five Banded Demoiselles, two Four-spotted Chasers and a Hairy Hawker (strangely, there were no Emperor Dragonflies about). A Sparrowhawk was the only bird of note, other than the usual warblers.
Common Blue ♂, Otmoor, 03-Jun
Small Copper ♂, Otmoor, 03-Jun
Burnet Companion, Otmoor, 03-Jun
Common Blue ♂ | Otmoor Small Copper ♂ | Otmoor Burnet Companion | Otmoor
Four-spotted Chaser ♂, Otmoor, 03-Jun
Comma, Otmoor, 03-Jun
Turtle Dove, Otmoor, 03-Jun
Four-spotted Chaser ♂ | Otmoor Comma | Otmoor Turtle Dove | Otmoor
Sunday 2nd June
Rather cloudy this morning but it was warm and humid. I had a search for insects between Barton Fields and Orchard Lake. On entering Barton Fields I heard a Cuckoo and saw a male Orange-tip, a Speckled Wood and a Green Nettle Weevil. I saw my first Blue-tailed Damselflies of the year between the ponds. Near the river I saw a Blackcap, Sedge Warbler and two Chiffchaffs, and heard a Cetti's Warbler. At the fishing pond I saw a Downy Emerald, several Red-eyed Damselflies and Banded Demoiselles and a Cetti's. Along the bank of the Thames I saw about a dozen Banded Demoiselles. In the field I saw a Large Skipper, Brown Argus and Small Copper. There were loads of Common Blue Damselflies around Orchard Lake. There was also a rufescens form of the female Blue-tailed Damselfly. There were at least half-a-dozen Black-tailed Skimmers near the lake, including one pair in cop. At the eastern end I saw about four Four-spotted Chasers (which, unusually, were not interested in perching) and ten Red-eyed Damselflies. I also saw a Hornet, a Red Admiral, two rather tired Peacocks and another Large Skipper.
Green Nettle Weevil, Abingdon, 02-Jun
Blue-tailed Damselfly imm. ♂, Abingdon, 02-Jun
Blue-tailed Damselfly imm. ♀, Radley Lakes, 02-Jun
Green Nettle Weevil | Abingdon Blue-tailed Damselfly ♂ | Abingdon Blue-tailed Damselfly ♀ | Radley Lakes
Common Blue Damselfly ♂, Radley Lakes, 02-Jun
Red-eyed Damselfly ♂, Abingdon, 02-Jun
Large Skipper ♂, Radley Lakes, 02-Jun
Common Blue Damselfly ♂ | Radley Lakes Red-eyed Damselfly ♂ | Radley Lakes Large Skipper ♂ | Radley Lakes
Saturday 1st June
I visited Bucknell Wood this morning. When I got there at 10am the temperature was already 20 °C. The wood was very dry. The first butterfly I came across was a fresh-looking Speckled Wood. My target species was the Wood White. These soon started to appear; as usual they were relentless in their search for females, only occasionally stopping for nectar. I logged 46 in 90 minutes, a slightly higher rate than last year. Other species seen were Common Blue, Orange-tip, Brinstone, Small Copper and Holly Blue. I found a teneral Emperor Dragonfly and four teneral Broad-bodied Chasers. Warblers were still singing: I heard Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Garden Warbler. A Raven flew over.
Wood White ♂, Bucknell Wood, 01-Jun
Emperor Dragonfly imm. ♂, Bucknell Wood, 01-Jun
Broad-bodied Chaser imm. ♂, Bucknell Wood, 01-Jun
Wood White ♂ | Bucknell Wood Emperor Dragonfly ♂ | Bucknell Wood Broad-bodied Chaser ♂ | Bucknell Wood
I retraced my steps and went to Ardley Quarry. This was aso dry; all standing water had disappeared. It took a while to find anything of note, but eventually I had ten species, including my first Large Skipper of the year, two Grizzled Skippers and two Green Hairstreaks. I was surprised to see at least six fresh-looking male Brimstones - is this an early summer brood resulting from the mild weather in February? Moths seen were Mother Shipton, Cinnabar, Lesser Treble-bar and Common Heath. I was also surprised to find a teneral male Black-tailed Skimmer on the railway embankment, and there was a female Banded Demoiselle near the bridge. Birds seen were Jay, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat.
Large Skipper ♂, Ardley Quarry, 01-Jun
Black-tailed Skimmer imm. ♂, Ardley Quarry, 01-Jun
Lesser Treble-bar, Ardley Quarry, 01-Jun
Large Skipper ♂ | Ardley Quarry Black-tailed Skimmer ♂ | Ardley Quarry Lesser Treble-bar | Ardley Quarry