Strumpshaw Fen, June 2016
Strumpshaw Fen June 2016
A reduced band of 6 arrived at Strumpshaw Fen on a gloriously warm day. As we approached the small visitor centre there was a wonderful array of nectar producing flowers that had been planted in a small bed. Later in the day we were privileged to watch a Swallowtail butterfly flying from flower to flower. This was the start of a mostly fruitless attempt by all of the photographers to get an in focus picture of the Swallowtail!
On the rush screens nearby we could view Poplar Hawk Moths, Eyed Hawk Moths and a beautiful Elephant Hawk Moth. These had been trapped the previous evening using an Ultra Violet lamp.
We saw more Swallowtails on our walk around the reserve as well as Brimstones, Orange tips and Red Admirals. We also saw numerous species of Dragonflies and Damsel Flies.
An interesting yellow bodied spider appeared to be trying to imitate a bird dropping as it sat on a nettle leaf with all of its legs stretched out in front.
There were numerous occasions when we stopped to consult the flower book and we saw several interesting species. We saw Southern Marsh Orchid, Marsh Cinquefoil and Marsh Lousewort.
Anyway, this was supposed to be a birding trip and we were not disappointed seeing 42 species and hearing 5 others. We were treated to superb aerial displays by Marsh Harriers and also Hobbies.
CHAFFINCH, BLACKBIRD, COMMON TERN, COOT, GREAT CRESTED GREBE MUTE SWAN, MALLARD, REED WARBLER, MARSH HARRIER, SWIFT CORMORANT, WREN, WOOD PIGEON, LONG TAILED TIT, JAY, CARRION CROW, STOCK DOVE, CANADA GOOSE, GREY LAG GOOSE, GREAT TIT,SONG THRUSH, BLACK CAP, REED BUNTING, WILLOW WARBLER
GREY HERON, SWALLOW, BLACK HEADED GULL, HOBBY, JACKDAW HERRING GULL, BLUE TIT, COMMON POCHARD, GADWALL, COMMON BUZZARD, CETTI'S WARBLER, TUFTED DUCK, SHELDUCK, SHOVELER MOORHEN, WHITETHROAT, ROBIN, SEDGE WARBLER
CHIFFCHAFF, GOLDCREST, PHEASANT, BEARDED TIT, WATER RAIL
We stopped for a picnic at about 12:30pm and it was very pleasant to be within 10 yards of a displaying Swallowtail as we ate our food. All in all an action packed day with so much to see and savour.
Images next page: Peter Heath
Elephant Hawk Moth
‘Bird Dropping’ Spider