Monday, 6 June 2016

Painted Ladies and first Fritillaries of the Year.

Painted Lady in Dalton Crags this morning (6th June 2016)  Click over to enlarge

Monday 6th June 2016 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof (0900hrs to 1200hrs)

Butterflies were the thing today, and that's just what I had set out to see and check if we had any Small Pearl Bordered's about, and sure enough, I was not to be disappointed. I had several what I presume to be Small Pearl Bordered Fritillarys from various parts of the Hutton Roof complex.  Far too flitty to stay still for a photo, but so nice to see those small rustic coloured butterflies once more. Also Small Heath butterflies were just everywhere you travelled with lots of pairs sparring up in mid air flight (or fight)!  As if all that with the fritillaries was not a treat in itself, but today was going to be even more special with the sighting of at least five separate Painted Ladies, enjoying themselves flitting about and lavishing the many Hawkweed flowers. I am told also that Painted Ladies had been recorded in reasonable numbers yesterday from various parts of the County.  Its obviously going to be one of those special years for the Painted Lady.  Its about seven years now since I saw a mass migration of Painted Ladies which followed a line heading to the North West and which were flying about 30ft in the air above my head in the local area of Beetham. Not as yet seen any migration occurances this year, but certainly this morning was witnessing far more than what you would normally see in most years.  Other butterflies included four separate Wall Browns which were mainly on Hutton Roof plus Speckled Woods always close to woodland rides and Green Veined Whites and not forgetting the odd flitting Dinghy Skipper. Also several of the insipid yellow "Speckled Yellow" day flying moths, in fact these moths were in large numbers towards to top of Dalton deforested.

I have no idea just what it was but I had a extremely large flying beetle which went gliding through whilst I was on Dalton Crags it would have been about 2" in length mainly black but did have some white on it.

Cuckoo was seen towards the top of Dalton and was calling very often. More Tree Pipits than usual in Dalton I am so pleased to report! where have they been hiding.  Must have had at least four calling and displaying birds today.  A couple of most beautiful seranading "Garden Warblers" really going for it and you could tell by their song they were really happy.

Lesser Trefoil and Heath Bedstraw and the rarer Limestone Bedstraw, also found more Fly Orchids in one of the already established areas.

Sunday 5th June 2016  "Photo showing Kestrel carrying Swift"

Photo: John Brierley and posted on the Swillington Ings Group website Sunday 5th June 2016

Nothing whatsoever to do with our Burton Swifts, but still very interesting and it occurred somewhere in the North of England in the last few days, when it was witnessed that a Kestrel actually took a Swift in flight. I could have believed it if it had been a Hobby but would never think of it with a Kestrel!  I am told by a friend that the photo is of a first year male Kestrel (immature from last years chicks).

Friday 3rd June 2016 "Cocking Yard"

Some great news as just arrived from Jane Phillips, which is confirmation that a pair are definitely nesting on Hangings Farm in Cocking Yard, this taking our total nest sites tally up to 14.  Worries are now set aside because the property has recently had pointing renovations to the front elevation.  We were so pleased to learn that the more recent occupiers of the property are Swift friendly people who were so pleased to instruct the builders to leave some holes to their previous nesting sites while this work was being carried out, which it is great to see they have now returned and are using at least one of their original sites.

Cocking Yard - Burton In Kendal (Click over to enlarge)

The site on Hangings Farm - The centre dark hole just under the slates
(photo: J. Phillips)