Monday 22 June 2015

Nature tour in North Wiltshire

I recently lead a nature in North Wiltshire, mostly aimed at birds but with a fair smattering of other species as well.

We started off with some warbler song comparisons, with particular emphasis on garden warbler and blackcap, we also heard chiffchaff, whitethroat, dunnock and reed bunting at this stage.

We soon started to see a number of dragonfly and damselfly species with downy emerald, emperor, four-spotted chaser and black-tailed skimmer being the dragonflies present as well as the following damselflies: azure, large red, common blue, blue-tailed and red-eyed - a decent number for this time of year!

Whilst walking along the edge of the lake I saw a funny-looking stick in the water, when I looked at it, it swam away! It was an adult otter, we all managed to see it before it slipped under the water.

As we carried on we saw a number of butterflies including small copper, common blue and brown argus.
small copper
common blue butterfly

We then turned our attention to plants and we lucky enough to see a number of burnt-tip orchid, as well common-spotted, southern marsh, early marsh, green-winged and all sorts of hybrids between the different species.

The highlight for the group was the last bird we saw, a female cuckoo working her way down a fence-line watching for nesting birds - an all too rare sight these days in Southern England, although we did hear three males calling so perhaps a better year for them?

All in all a great trip with a great variety of nature encountered! (NA)

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