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A Walk Amongst The Butterflies

A Walk Amongst the Butterflies
A Walk Amongst the Butterflies
We have just had the two hottest days of the year, back to back, and let me be honest with you here, with temperatures hot enough to soften the black, sticky, tarmac on the local roads, a slightly chubby (I'm being polite here) lad like me often finds himself melting like the ice lollies I wish I was eating. 

Today however the heat had dropped off a little and the warmth was as pleasant as you could like without it being too hot to walk, and without the humidity that sees me "glistening" the second I make any kind of physical movement. 

And so it was that today I headed out onto the patch for a walk amongst the butterflies, dragonflies and birds of a British summers day.

Introducing the Patch - Millennium Bridge

Introducing the Patch - Millennium Bridge
The Millennium Bridge was built around the start of the 21st century (as far as I remember it was finished a bit later than originally scheduled) and links up national Cycle route 6 as it crosses the river Ouse, it's not a remarkable bridge in any way, all concrete and iron, but the area around it is an interesting part of the patch. And I use this name to describe it for ease.

The area itself covers a cabbage field, as it reaches the railway line and eventually the Viaduct at Haversham, a rough set aside field which is part of  the camp site (and is only for campers), the River Ouse itself, a stand of (I think) Poplars and the rough surround of the Eastern lakes.

Last June Jaunt

Last June Jaunt
Last June Jaunt
I have to be honest June is one of my least busy months on the patch front at the best of times, the birding drops right off with so many birds nesting and nothing new moving through, but this June has been so wet that my normal targets, the butterflies and odonata, have been struggling too, but yesterday I headed out anyway on my Last June Jaunt of the year.

There is still a dearth of butterflies on the wing, and the odes seem to be well behind normal emergence levels (there's more later about all these) what does seem to be doing well this year though is the hoverflies and this walk became a great day for checking them out.

Anyway please read on.

It Has Been a While

It's Been a While - Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn
It's Been a While - Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn
Well, what can I say bar It's Been a While! A combination of time away, school holidays, work, massive rain storms and a bad back, have not only kept me off the patch, but prevented me doing much of late, but finally today I managed to squeeze a few solo hours out in the field experiencing all that natures bounty has to offer.

With it being mid June (is the 21st mid?) my time turns from the birds (well there is not much passage at this time of year) and begins to focus more on the mini beasts of this world, the Dragonflies, butterflies and (for want of a better all encompassing word) the bugs.

Introducing the Patch - Enclosed Paddock

Introducing the Patch - Enclosed Paddock
Introducing the Patch - Enclosed Paddock
The Enclosed Paddock is not the most exciting of locations on the patch, in fact most of the time it is simply a grassy field, surrounded by trees and hedges (and next to Wolverton House pub) with a large Oak tree that stands sentinel in the centre, but for a couple of weeks in summer, between the grass reaching jungle proportions and the council cutting it down, the field comes to life.

A walk through the long grass, at this time of year, sends wave after wave of the striking day flying moth, the Chimney Sweeper, into the air. 

There are often hundreds of these charcoal grey moths whose wing tips appear to be dipped in pure white paint, spread out across the field.

A Photographic Post

A Photographic Post - Pied Wagtail
A Photographic Post - Pied Wagtail
Hi, Today's post is just going to be a selection of photos (sorry), these were all taken Yesterday (Wednesday 11th May) on the patch, but I have a bit of OU Course work that I need to get written so have very little time to compose a post that would do things justice. Suffice to say it was grey and wet all day and apart from the photos and company of some 300 House Martins and around 100 Common Swift the only other passage bird was a Dunlin.

This post does contain some of my best photos ever (Hopefully you'll agree but the Hobby photos are pretty special!) and it goes without saying this is a VERY photo heavy post (48 including the title photo).