Saturday, 27 May 2017

Woodpeckers and butterflies at Cranford Park

The Great Spotted Woodpecker nest in Bluebell Dell is still active. The chicks are now at the stage where not only are they continually calling but they're also peering out of the nest hole. I found it incredibly hard to photograph them due to the shady part of the wood where they've chosen to nest and the fact I didn't want to get too close and disturb the birds, so all of my photos are not only heavily lightened but heavily cropped too.....

This is the female below with the all black head.....

Males have a red splotch on the back of their neck and the juveniles have red caps.
I reckon that the young will have fledged before my next visit so it was a real pleasure to watch them this morning.
The warm weather had bought out a lot of hoverflies but the fairly strong wind made photography challenging. I managed just two today......
Eupeodes luniger

Syrphus torvus
Nearly every buttercup had a critter in it.
This is the male Thick-legged Flower Beetle....
I was joined on my UKBMS butterfly transect by this little critter below that hitched a ride on my clipboard. I'm pretty sure its a Speckled Bush Cricket nymph....

nymph next to nib of my pen for size comparison
The transect went well today with three 'firsts of the year', but would probably been better had the wind not been so strong.
I spotted 14 butterflies of 8 species during my 90 minute walk.
Large Skipper x 1 (first of the year)
Small Copper x 1 (first of the year)
Common Blue x 1 (first of the year)
Holly Blue x 1
Red Admiral x 1
Peacock x 2
Speckled Wood x 6
Small Heath x 1
Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Common Blue (male)

Common Blue (male)

Common Blue (male)

Common Blue (male)
Small Copper (female)

Small Copper (female)

Small Copper (female)

Small Copper (female)
Large Skipper (male)

Red Admiral

Red Admiral
At the end of my transect I stopped to add up my tally and found myself sitting right next to this pair of damselflies mating. These are Azure damselflies, very beautiful and light.
I had a great four hour visit. Although the sun was fairly strong, the cool wind meant it was fairly bearable.

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