It's a great relief to be writing this blog post as it almost brings me up-to-date with my output. Having looked at what I did in the month of August, or should I say "what I didn't do", I was quite surprised to find that, in spite of me only getting out twice, I managed to take quite a lot of photographs!
Monday, 2nd August Saltersford Valley CP
This day was one of those two days when I did get out. My destination was a local dragonfly spot. It had been a cold and windy time in the days beforehand, so I was not expecting much.
A Common Tern was active on my arrival and I managed, just about, to get a shot of it with a small Pike.
|Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) - Saltersford Valley CP|
|Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata alternata) - Saltersford Valley CP|
|Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) (male) - Saltersford Valley CP|
|Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) (male) - Saltersford Valley CP|
|Coot (Fulica atra) with damselfly - Saltersford Valley CP|
|Peacock (Aglais io) - Saltersford Valley CP|
Tuesday, 3rd August Garden
It's always exciting to see a Comma butterfly in the garden, and one graced us with its presence this day.
|Comma (Polygonia c-album) - garden on 3rd August, 2021|
Common Blue butterfly is also a species that we do not see very often in the garden, and so this was another lucky day.
|Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) (male) - garden on 5th August, 2021|
Love them or hate them, there's no denying that a Sparrowhawk is a magnificent creature, even when they look a little dishevelled as this one did in the rain. I think that it's a juvenile.
|Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) - Garden on 6th August, 2021|
A short bright spell, although a little cool, had me looking for something to photograph after I'd had a short session with the Elephant Hawk-moth larvae. This smart hoverfly caught my eye.
|hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii) - garden on 9th August, 2021|
Monday, 10th August Garden
Most years, we get a visit from Willow Warbler in the late summer and it can be a bit of a challenge sometimes to confirm they are Willow Warbler and not Chiffchaff. The first clue for Willow Warbler is usually the bright yellow on the underside and then the leg colour. You can now see that I am very much still a novice birder. I had, at first, identified the bird that visited this day as a Willow Wabler, but I now see that, with some certainty, it's a Chiffchaff.
|Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) - garden on 10th August, 2021|
|Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) - garden on 10th August, 2021|
|Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) (immature) - garden on 10th August 2021|
I went out this day, and the results were such that they warrant their own blog post! This will follow at a later date.
Sunday, 15th August Garden
This was a very special day, in that it was the first time that I managed to witness a dragonfly visit the garden mini-pond that I installed last summer. Sadly, it was a male of the species, so will not have added any 'life' to the pond.
|Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) (male) - garden on 15th August, 2021|
This was another quite exciting day for us as we had both Nuthatch and Chiffchaff visit. Nuthatch too is only an occasional visitor, with maybe one or two sightings a year. The real excitement was, however, that we had two of each! This is the first time ever that we have had two of either of these species.
|Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) - garden on 20th August, 2021|
|Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) - garden on 20th August, 2021|
The moth trap was put out in the garden this night. It was a reasonably large catch, and as I had a morning appointment to collect my car from being serviced the following day, I confess that many micro-moths were discarded without any attempt to record or ID them. However, it did still result in me recording 103 moths of 29 species. Due to my haste in sorting these, the photography was well-below par. Here are a few:-
|Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata) - garden moth trap from 24th August, 2021|
|Orange Swift (Triodia sylvina) - garden moth trap from 24 August, 2021|
|Canary-shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria) - garden moth trap from 24th August, 2021|
|Ichneumonid species - garden moth trap from 24th August, 2021|
We used to have a large koi pond in the garden which took up much of the garden and had a waterfall feature at one end. This regularly attracted Grey Wagtail and, occasionally, a youngster was brought to the pond too. The koi were re-homed and the pond filled in more than ten years ago, with just a small part of the waterfall feature converted to a static bird bath. However, Grey Wagtail has continued to visit every year since. I can't believe that this is one of the original birds, and am fairly well convinced that these visits must be due to some form of genetic imprinting.
I was delighted to see a Nuthatch return to the garden on this day, and I shall now indulge myself with further images of this character-full bird.
|Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) - garden on 28th August, 2021|
For a few days, a female Bullfinch had been visiting the garden and coming down to a feeder tray while a juvenile Bullfinch stayed lurking, mostly hidden, in the large Elder at the top of the garden. I'd been trying to get some shots of this juvenile for some time, and failing. This day, however, I did manage just one shot that is just about usable - much to my relief as this was the last time that we saw this bird.
|Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) (juvenile) - garden on 30th August, 2021|
That brings me to the end of my August Catchup. My next post will probably cover my day out on 11th August, as mentioned above, and will feature birds, butterflies and dragons - plus a few more items! In the meantime, stay safe.
Thank you for dropping by - - - Richard