Tuesday 18 August 2015

Brilliant Blues and Red-backed Shrike.

What a day. It started off at 6am when I was hoping to find an Adonis Blue to photograph as it woke up. Unfortunately, the Adonis are not common near here so it was a long shot. I did however find yet another very fresh Chalkhill Blue although I was lucky to get a shot. I also found a Clouded Yellow which allowed a few images. Wall Brown were also showing quite well with several females looking for egg laying areas.

Male Chalkhill Blue.

Clouded Yellow.

Female Wall Brown.

Once home Matt rang me to tell me about an adult male Red-backed Shrike that had been found in the Cuckmere. This is a real rarity, especially an adult so it was straight back in the car to see if I could get an image of this beauty. It was flying amongst the bushes and often posed near the top of the bushes. A real classy bird and only the 2nd adult I've seen. Although several dog walkers got quite close it didn't seem too concerned, however, with many birders on their way to see it we didn't get as close as we possibly could have in case we made it go into hiding, or worse!!

Male Red-backed Shrike.

It was then a late breakfast followed by a long walk of over 4 miles doing my Wall Brown survey. Numbers of this butterfly are lower this year and I only saw 32 on the walk. 2 years ago I saw over 100. This is not totally unexpected though as the butterfly has had 8 years of growth on my patch and most butterflies would have a decline due to parasitic predation over this period. I did however see a superb male Southern Hawker, 5 more Clouded Yellow and several Adonis Blue including 2 mating pairs.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth.

Male Southern Hawker.

Male Southern Hawker.

Adonis Blue pair mating.

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