Summer nature report from Dol

Published in Nature Watch

Steve Jones has been keeping track of birds, butterflies and moths in Dol.

Painted lady butterfly Painted lady butterfly Photo: Steve Jones

There hasn't been much to report during the Summer, birds busy breeding and bringing on their young, nothing new to note since earlier in the year. You may have noticed that pretty well since the longest day the birds ceased to sing, incredible how they know. The Nightingale was the first and most obvious one. Virtually as June 21st came and went from the incessant singing morning and night it just stopped - an elusive bird, you can know which bush it is singing from but it's rare to actually see it and even rarer to photograph it.

White admiral butterfly. Photo Steve Jones

Swallows nearby successfully raised two broods and got them away. The latter part of August saw some of our Summer residents depart. The Bee-Eater and Golden Oriole went around 11th / 12th August. As soon as they departed  I started seeing periodic arrivals of Buzzard and Sparrowhawk, both seemingly absent during the Summer.

August brought a new bird into the garden for me - although I did see it last year, This was the Garden Warbler. It hasn't seemed to stay around, and so I am unsure as to whether or not it will over-winter. What has been equally interesting: on 26th August I had been hearing Bee-Eaters on and off all day, quite high up, and late afternoon it was good to confirm as 50 birds flew over. I am thinking these are "non-island birds", I might be wrong on this. However on August 28th further confirmation came, as about 50 more Bee-Eaters were calling and circling over Dol, clearly on a migratory trail. A few days later, we saw about 14 flying overhead at lunchtime.

Two-tailed pasha. Photo Steve Jones

As we approached the beginning of September, there was a new movement of birds in and around Dol. A lot of raptor movement. Far too difficult for me to identify but according to a friend holidaying we have had Goshawks, Marsh Harriers, Short-Toed Eagles and Honey Buzzards amongst Buzzards and Sparrowhawks.

Most pleasingly for me on 2nd September I saw my first Alpine Swift. Something I have been expecting to see more of here but nevertheless a glimpse of a few seconds was more than enough to confirm this. Also saw a Whinchat, which confirms one of my poorer pictures earlier in the year, and one Hoopoe. 3rd/4th September have seen a few Greenfinches and Blackcaps, also Serins, Cirl Buntings and Wheatears (up at Dol church). I have a couple of sightings in the last two days of what I also believe to be an Icterine Warbler, another first for me and looking through the book it is the most likely.

Silver washed fritillary. Photo Steve Jones

This month also sees the highest number of butterfly species on the wing, and I am sending several pictures of different species taken in recent days - the newest being the Silver Washed Fritillary, have only been seeing this since the 1st of September.

Scarce swallowtail butterfly. Photo Steve Jones

Red Admirals and Swallowtails, also assorted Graylings are around. I do have photographs but need to do more ID on the Graylings as there are several different species. Managed this morning to get a reasonably decent picture of a Humming Bird Hawkmoth.

Convulvulus hawkmoth. Photo Steve Jones

On September 4th I caught one of the larger hawkmoths. Don't worry it is perfectly safe...... After consultation with an expert friend, it turned out to be a convulvulus hawkmoth, not the privet hawkmoth I thought at first. Which makes sense, when I think about it, considering where I found it!

© Steve Jones 2016

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