Wednesday 24 July 2013

A Day for Nature Sunday 4th August

Building on the success of last year’s event, ‘Cornwall Day for Nature’ on 3rd and 4th August promises even more opportunities to enjoy nature first hand.  The event is sponsored by South West Lakes Trust and will be held at Stithians Reservoir.
On Saturday 3rd August the event will start with an evening focused on Moths and Bats, where you can find out about nature in Cornwall at night with local specialists running moth traps and taking a bat walk (subject to weather).  Overnight on site camping is available.
Sunday 4th August will start with an early morning ‘Dawn Chorus’ walk to a bird ringing site and a small mammal trapping demonstration, which will be followed by a range of walks during the day.
Conservation Groups will exhibit and publicise their conservation work and activities providing a great opportunity to get find out more and involved!  Exhibitors will include Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society (CBWPS), South West Lakes Trust, The National Trust, Natural England, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT), Cornwall Bat Group, Cornwall Mammal Group, Butterfly Conservation and an introduction to the Robin Song Project, a South West Children’s Hospice Project to bring wildlife into the lives of children.
Fun for all ages! The National Trust, RSPB, Natural England and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Fox Club will be offering nature themed fun for children of all ages. The National Trust will have with their arts and crafts marquee, together with demonstrations of green woodworking and bush craft. Come and talk to their Rangers about the ongoing work for wildlife on the spectacular Lizard coastline, where choughs and rare plants abound.
Try and buy the latest optical equipment for all price ranges! Trade exhibits will feature South West Optics, Leica, Swarovski, Nikon, Zeiss and Opticron.
Local wildlife artist, Griff, founder of the Robin Song Project for the South West Children’s Hospice, will be displaying his work in the marquee.
South West Lakes will be offering kayaking, archery  and climbing wall taster sessions  (a small fee will apply these activities to cover costs).
Refreshments will be available at the popular Watersports Cafe within the complex to eat and drink inside or on the lakeside.
It will be a free event but we do hope to raise some funds for a new proposed viewing screen  at College Reservoir and on going conservation work at Stithians Reservoir.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Two chasers

On Sunday I spent some time looking for dragonflies. In the morning I went east to Goss Moor and Breney Common.  Goss Moor was strangely quiet.  There was more activity at Breney with good numbers of Large Red Damselfly, fewer Small Red, one Golden-ringed, one Keeled Skimmer and just a couple Emeralds.  I also saw five Four-spotted Chasers.

In the evening I decided to look at Godolphin and check for any Crossbills, as there seems to be a bit of a summer eruption going on (ie 40 at Croft Pasco).  I was also hoping for Purple Hairstreak but saw neither Crossbill or Hairstreak.  I did manage to see a nice male Broad-bodied Chaser though. More images can be found here.

Male Broad-bodied Chaser at Godolphin Woods.

Four-spotted Chaser at Breney Common.

Friday 12 July 2013

Dark greens and High browns

At long last I managed to finally find some Dark Green Fritillary's at Penhale sands last night.  Several observers have already seen them but it's taken me about six visits to finally find this species.  As it happens I counted between 50 and 60 insects spread around the dune system.  All were in pristine condition, except for the very last one I found!  The image below was taken at the very last moment before the sun dropped behind the dune, hence the warm hues.

This morning I visited  South Dartmoor to look for the rare High Brown Fritillary.  The species is ultra rare in Cornwall now with the last known record being one at Kynance in 1996.  Thus I had to do a bit of twitching.  In contrast, at Aish Tor I saw at least 20 insects flying around strongly, once the sun came out.  I arrived there at about 8am and managed to photo one or two fairly static individuals warming up on the bracken.

Dark Green Fritillary, Penhale, Cornwall.

High Brown Fritillary at Aish Tor, Dartmoor. 

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Silver-studded Blue at Penhale, Cornwall

I visited Penhale sands last night, taking advantage of the stunning weather we are having at the moment.  Silver-studded Blue is by far the commonest butterfly here.  There must be several hundred.  I estimate about a quarter of them were females.  In addition, I saw seven Ringlets, approx. 75 Small Skippers, 50 Meadow Brown, one Small Tortoiseshell, two Small Heath and 20 Common Blue.  But still no sightings of Dark Green Fritillary.
Some more images can be found on my Flickr site here

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Female Azure Damselfly

I took this image of a female Azure Damselfly last week, early in the morning.  The dew spots are readily visible on the grass and on the wings and body.  The weight of the dew is bending the leaf so that it is resting on the grass.  I guess the insect has been roosting here all night or walked up the stem waiting for the sun to warm up its wings.  Early morning or late evening seems to be the only time when they are so obliging.  Either way, it gave me time to compose the image and get the background just right.