Posts Tagged ‘Green Veined White’

A bright sunny day and a chance to do the weekly butterfly and dragonfly survey on my home patch. It has been a somewhat slow start to the year with sporadic butterflies and just two records so far of Large Red Damselfly (two weeks ago – which was an early date for this site) and nothing since. As I made my way down to the Tarn I found a female Brimstone and then by the pool a Holly Blue.

Holly Blue


Approx 6-8 Large Red Damselflies were on the pool and 2 pairs were busily laying eggs. A single Azure damselfly was also present.

Large Red Damselfly

Azure damselfly






This was to be the highlight as the remainder of the walk only yielded a single Green-veined White and a second Brimstone.

Green-veined White (1st brood Female)

The nesting season for birds is well underway and today there were young Coots, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese and Mallard around the Tarn.

Coot and young

Greylag Geese and young

Canada Goose and young

Mallard and young


Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)





A free Friday and so Keith and I are off to the RSPB reserve at Cliffe. This collection of old workings and pits is located on the north Kent coast by the side of the River Thames and never seems to disappoint for a days bird watching.

We started with our normal stop at West Court Farm, but it was very quiet. Still we enjoyed our stop at Tabitha’s canteen for brunch. After being refreshed we made our way to the RSPB reserve. We first went along to the radar pool as Keith had seen a Spoonbill from here the previous week. Here we encountered our first Nightingales and Cetti’s warblers singing from the undergrowth. Alas no Spoonbill today, but we were treated to the sight of a group of newly emerged Green-Veined White Butterflies which patrolled the paths edge vegetation.



At the small pool we were serenaded by Marsh Frogs, whose ‘song’ would accompany us all the way till we reached the River Thames. Often heard but rarely seen we were fortunate to see two in the small pool.


On the walk to the River we encountered some Peacock butterflies.



Our attention was drawn to a bush by flying ‘butterflies’. We thought at first that they were Small Tortoisehsells, but on closer examination we found that they were moths. They were fast flying and reluctant to settle and of course impossible to photograph. I even tried using the video camera but with no success. Neither of us is very knowledgeable about Moths but enquiries since have suggested that they were male Emperor Moths and that somewhere in the bush was one of more females and this accounted for their frantic activity.

Emperor moth (Saturnia pavonia)
Emperor Moth
photo by Dean Morley (

Moving on we were treated to a fly past from a Merlin

photo by Nicole Beaulac (

A Hobby also perched on a fence just out of good photography range.

Hobby. The best photo we could get. Taken by Keith

Hobby. The best photo we could get. Taken by Keith

Reaching the River we walked along to the creek and then turned back inland. A male Stonechat was seen perching on a bush, a good record for a bird whioch seems to becoming rarer in the south-east of England. We could hear the characteristic call of Whimbrel and a small party flew overhead. A swallow flashed past and the islands turned up a selection of wading birds including 15 Whimbrel; Redshank; Ringed Plover; Black-Tailed Godwit; Dunlin; Grey Plover and the Avocets which now breed here in large numbers.

photo by S.Fitzgerald (

In the path side vegetation Nightingales and Cetti’s warblers continued to sing along with Blackcaps and Common Whitethroats and a single Chiffchaff. At least 3 of the rarer Lesser Whitethroats were also heard.

The rain had begun to fall and it was now time to make our way back to the village.

An excellent day’s birdwatching. Once again Cliffe had not disappointed us

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Merlin [sp] (Falco columbarius)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Grey Plover [sp] (Pluvialis squatarola)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Lesser Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia curruca)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Nightingale [sp] (Luscinia megarhynchos)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)

Emperor Moth