Posts Tagged ‘Meadow Brown’

Similar to the Gatekeeper, featured yesterday, the Meadow Brown is a common butterfly found in grassland and gardens.

A warm sunny morning saw Keith and I at West Court Farm near Cliffe in Kent for our usual morning stop at Tabitha’s snack waggon before proceeding onto the nearby RSPB reserve. The farm fields were very dry and there were not many birds to see although we did see a passing Marsh Harrier and a Mute Swan.

Moving onto the reserve we quickly located two spoonbills feeding on one of the pools.

Spoonbill. Photo by Steve Childs (https://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_childs/)

 

Generally, though bird numbers were low and it was the butterflies and Dragonflies that held our attention.

Small White

Red Admiral

Meadow Brown

Azure Damselfly

One excellent bird sighting was a Common Whitethroat singing from a wire

Common Whitethroat

Common Whitethroat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this strange looking bird – which is actually a juvenile Robin

Despite the apparent quietness we still recorded 50 species of birds, which is not bad for this time of the year here along with 9 species of Butterflies and 5 species of Dragonfly.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
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)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Butterflies

Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)

 

Dragonflies

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Next stop on catch up Thursday is Sutcliffe Park LNR.

Sutcliffe park LNR

Sutcliffe park LNR

Again Meadow Brown butterflies are the dominant species on the grasslands, but around the reed-bed I find a Broad-bodied Chaser, a black-Tailed Skimmer, 2 male Banded Demoiselles and a Common Blue Damselfy. A good variety of species but I would have hoped for a few more of each.

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An added bonus is a party of 6 Common Swifts and at least 1 Emperor Dragonfly hawking for insects over the lake.

Decide that today I am going to catch up with all my local dragonfly and butterfly survey work for June. My first stop is Eltham Park, Shepherdleas Woods and Oxleas meadows which is a new site I have been asked to monitor this summer. These 3 different habitats are connected and run from south to north. Eltham Park also has a pond in it so there is the possibility of some dragonflies on the site.

Eltham Park

Eltham Park

Pond - Eltham Park

Pond – Eltham Park

Shepherdleas Woods

Shepherdleas Woods


The Park has plenty of butterflies almost all of them Meadow Browns, but this bodes well for other species later in the summer.

Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

The Pond unfortunately shows no sign of dragonflies, perhaps because there is quite heavy tree cover which restricts the sunny warm places at its edge. No butterflies seen in the wood but Oxleas meadows turns up a treat with 5 Small Tortoiseshells and 2 Red Admirals all very keen to have their photos taken. In the end I had to stop myself taking photos as they just sat there.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

After a morning working at home I went for a walk around Eltham Palace Gardens.

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Although the palace itself was very busy the more remote corners of the gardens are largely unvisited and so was a good place to do today’s butterfly count. There were large numbers of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns plus Holly Blue, Large and Small White.

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Meadow Brown
Meadow Brown
Photo by Tim Ebbs (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebbsphotography/)

An Emperor Dragonfly was also present and it was great to see the Bees busily at work on the plants

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