Perfect weather on Wednesday to take a look at the landscape on Birk Bank and Harrisend Fell on the fringes of Bowland....Of course I had a couple of targets.
Keeled Skimmer . Birk Bank Bog 12 July. Pete Woodruff
I had an excellent hour on the board-walk at Birk Bank, during which time I connected with 3 male Keeled Skimmer around the bog, the perfect follow-on to my finding a male here on 22 July last year. The bog wasn't exactly alive with dragonflies, but I did also see 4 Four-spotted Chaser, at least one Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and a Meadow Brown.
Some searching across the top of Birk Bank was also well rewarded by my finding 6 Stonechat, they were seen as a pair, and a male with two juvenile on view, I'd like to think maybe three more young were keeping their heads down to make up a full brood, whilst I was watching these, another Stonechat flew in some distance behind them. A low count of 4 Meadow Pipit and a Willow Warbler in a Rowan were the only other birds noted.
Stonechat adult male/juvenile Gary Jones
On Harrisend, I was pleased to find 4 Stonechat, these were seen as two single males, a female, and further on the fell a lone juvenile, a particularly mobile individual that I saw five times on the outward and return walk, and moving considerable distances every time. The 12 Meadow Pipit seen were a better sample than the four seen on Birk Bank, 3 Redpoll flew off from the lone Hawthorn, 3 Reed Bunting, a male Linnet, and a male Blackbird seen. Raptors were, a Buzzard and Kestrel, and the butterflies, 14 Large White and 2 Small Heath.
Thanks to Gary for the adult male and juvenile Stonechat images.
Elephant Hawkmoth. Julie Wareing.
Julie sent me this grab shot - albeit the underside - of the Elephant Hawkmoth which strayed into her house recently. An impressive and colourful moth, known to have a liking of visiting Honeysuckle at dusk, it's foodplants are Willowherbs and Bedstraws, and also garden Fuchsias.
Interestingly, Julie has since told me in an e-mail....'All that you said about the certain plants they like are all in my garden'.