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Saturday, July 27, 2013

July update

Another month has almost passed  since my last post because technology has been beating me with lots of problems uploading pictures to my blog. I have finally discovered that the browser I have been using for sometime (Google Chrome) is the culprit and  so I have reverted to Internet Explorer again, which seems to have solved the problem for now!

Early in the month I was delighted to see a spotted flycatcher on the wires opposite our house near the old rectory in Stantway. It appeared on a couple of evenings and then I didn't see it again but a few days later, whilst walking along Scrapton Lane, I saw another perched on the wires there. I think the latter was a young bird as on close inspection of the photos below you can see fluffy feathers on the breast which could be the remains of the downy fledging feathers. It is good to know they have bred in the area as numbers of this species has declined rapidly in recent years
Spotted flycatcher

Spotted flycatcher

The SSW has been looking lovely this month with a wonderful show of poppies intermingled with corn marigold, corncockle and ox eye daisies amongst others.


Many flowers have been late flowering this year, such as the pyramidal orchid. This is usually to be seen in June but this year it was mid July before any were spotted in the few places around the parish where I usually look for them and numbers were down on previous years.
Pyramidal orchid

The hot weather we have been having has resulted in more butterflies and moths taking to the air though and I have had fun trying to identify some species. Some, like this Comma butterfly, were relatively easy as there are only 59 species generally found in the UK
Comma butterfly

However, with over 870 larger moths, the task is more difficult. I think the moth below, which alighted on our garden table, might be a Snout moth

but I can't identify this one which settled in our conservatory, so any ideas would be gratefully received!

Thanks for your suggestions, I now know this is a Silver Y moth

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Where did June go?

I can't believe it is already two weeks into July, we have been back from Finland for well over a month and "blazing June" is over! It was an odd month with near constant winds and for me, a week of travelling to and fro to Musgrove Hospital to see mum, who was admitted suddenly on a Friday morning mid month. ( she is back home now and enjoying the warmth of the sunshine).
Even so, we had some good days out and the wildlife seemed to flourish in the dry weather, (especially the weeds in the garden!)
Butterflies, like Peacocks, began to emerge early in June and take advantage of the later than usual flowers, such as Bluebells, but numbers have been low even with the warmer weather.
We had a day trip to Durleston Country Park near Swanage in late June, an area with a very different geology to Combe which results in different flowers and as a result attracts different butterflies, such as this beautiful Common blue.
Common blue
Also these Adonis blue, and Wall butterflies, none of which I have ever seen in Combe.
Adonis Blue 

Wall butterfly
Unusual plants on the cliff top included wild carrot,Centaury and further up the slope a superb bee orchid!

Bee Orchid
Birds seemed to have had a good breeding season locally, with many having more than one brood so have been in constant search for food to feed their young. The ones lucky enough to find the mealworms we put out in mum's garden grabbed all they could, as you can see from this blackbird!