31 May 16

Nythe Pool

A big black Fox around the pool this afternoon, just as the rain began to fall. Also juvenile Blackbirds being fed.


A Reed Warbler seen at Waterhay today.

(Dave Butcher)

Reed Warbler (Dave Butcher)

30 May 16

Cleveland Lakes Nature Reserve

From Twitchers Gate this evening - Redshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, Ruff in breeding plumage, 5 Lapwings, 5 Common Terns, 50 Swifts, 13 Red-crested Pochards and 3 Little Egrets.

Also Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) and Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella). More on the CWP Blog Here

(Steve Davies)

CWP Pit 72

The female Red-footed Falcon caught a dragonfly over CWP Pit 72, then flew into Gloucestershire at c.15:35. Via BirdGuides Here

29 May 16

Barbury Castle

Neil George
We had a lovely walk at Barbury Castle this afternoon - a cold wind when we arrived, but it rapidly warmed up and in the sheltered areas turned really warm. No Marsh Fritillary unfortunately, but 8 or 9 species of butterflies spotted with possibly a Brown Argus (though it could be a female Common Blue!), Large Whites at distance, a Small Heath, Common Blue, Small Copper, Grizzled Skipper, Red Admiral, Small Blue, Common Blue, Dingy Skipper, a 7 spot ladybird and a Kentish Snail.

We also came across a Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata) and a Kestrel.

Kestrel (Neil George)

Silver-ground Carpet (Neil George)

Small Heath (Neil George)

Dingy Skipper (Neil George)

Common Blue (Neil George)

Small Copper (Neil George)

Grizzled Skipper (Neil George)

Red Admiral (Neil George)

Small Blue (Neil George)

A male Brown Argus.
(Thank you to Piers Vigus and Steve Covey from Wiltshire Butterflies and Mots Facebook Group for the ID.)

Common Blue (Neil George)

Dingy Skipper (Neil George)

7-spotted Ladybird (Neil George)

Kentish Snail (Neil George)

Ian Stewart
As well as great butterflying, the best birds today included: 5 Grey Partridge, 5 Corn Bunting, Linnet, Common Whitethroat, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Kestrels, Evidence of Lapwing breeding and Buzzards, including one which caught a rabbit.

On the butterfly front I had both Dingy and Grizzled Skipper.

Grey Partridge (Ian Stewart)

Corn Bunting (Ian Stewart)

Common Buzzard with a Rabbit (Ian Stewart)


The last Blue Tit looking out before leaving our box this morning.We watched them all go it was great, hope they all make it.

(David & Harry King)

This is our last Blue Tit looking out just before he left our box. We watched them all leave this morning, it was great to watch.

One last look before.......

.....launching himself out into the garden.


Some bulk in the trap this morning, with 2 Poplar Hawks and this Elephant Hawk-moth present.

(Steve Nash)

Elephant Hawk-moth (Steve Nash)

Kempsford, River Thames

Large numbers of Banded and Beautiful Demoiselles along the Thames (they seem to be having a good year), a few Common Blue Damselflies, a Green Nettle Weevil and lots of Mayflys - one of which I picked up as a passenger! A Cuckoo heard but not seen, and a few Linnets were the only other birds of note.

(Steve Davies)

Mouldon Hill CP

We enjoyed a lovely walk around Mouldon Hill this evening.

Highlights were seeing what I presume was a family group of 4 Treecreepers along the canal, a great view of a Cuckoo in a large Ash tree at the far end of the canal, 2 male Reed Buntings close together at the lakeside, and, to conclude, a Red Kite right over the car park. Also plenty of warblers about seeing Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat. Both Mallard and Coot youngsters were seen around the lake and a Green Woodpecker that flew across it!

And thanks to Neil George's great photos yesterday I can tell we also saw male Banded Demoiselle and Beautiful Demoiselles and Mayflies.

(Richard and Hilary Williams)

28 May 16


I have completed my BTO Breeding Bird Survey for 2016 with my second visit to Bushton. A cool but dry morning and lovely to be amongst the meadows at the commencement of my route.

Birds seen or heard were: 1 Canada Goose, 2 Pheasant, 1 Buzzard, 1 Red Kite, 1 Black Headed Gull, 23 Lesser Black Backed Gull, 1 Herring Gull, 26 Wood Pigeon, 6 Collared Dove, 224 Rook (This included c200 in a recently cut field of hay), 3 Magpie, 2 Jackdaw, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, 20 House Martin, 4 Swallow, 8 Skylark, 2 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 14 Wren, 2 Robin, 2 Dunnock, 12 House Sparrow, 1 Pied Wagtail, 12 Blackbird, 4 Song Thrush, 10 Chaffinch, 2

Bullfinch, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Greenfinch, 3 Yellowhammer and 1 Reed Bunting.

So 34 species today. The Red Kite, Pied Wagtail and surprisingly the Black-headed Gull were the patch additions, bringing the total to 49.

(Richard Williams)

CWP Pit 68d

Reed Bunting and lots of Whitethroat.

(Bob Shiret)

Reed Bunting (Bob Shiret)

Whitethroat (Bob Shiret)

Whitethroat (Bob Shiret)

CWP Pit 72

The female Red-footed Falcon is still present and was seen circling over CWP Pit 72 before flying SSE over fields at 12:21pm. Via BirdGuides Here


Still rubbish in Highworth but at least the past couple of nights have seen an improvement (19 species last night).

New for year:
Dark GroundlingBryotropha affinis
Small MagpieAnania hortulata
Common Marbled Carpet, Dysstroma truncata 
Silver-ground Carpet mothXanthorhoe montanata
Scalloped HazelDontopera bidentata
Poplar Hawk-moth, Laothoe populi
Small Square-spot, Diarsia rubi 
Rustic Shoulder-knot, Apamea sordens
Poplar GreySubacronicta megacephala
Treble LinesCharanyca trigrammica

Cork MothNemapogon cloacella with its distinctive white discal spot.

(Steve Nash)

Poplar Hawk-moth (Steve Nash)

Cork Moth (Steve Nash)


Over 2 weeks since I was last able to run my trap but I was hoping for more than 14 species. but given the season so far this year I shouldn't be too surprised. Nothing earth-shattering but a lovely fresh Peppered Moth (Biston betularia)and 2 Gracillaria syringella were the highlights.

(Steve Covey)


I went back to Pentylands this morning and came across a Reed Warbler singing. I also I found a Banded Demoiselle in amongst the dozens of Beautiful Demoiselles, a Speckled Wood, Alderfly, a pair of Drake Mackerel Mayflies and a possible Common Red-legged Robberfly.

(Neil George)

A Reed Warbler singing at Pentylands this morning (Neil George)

A male Banded Demoiselle (Neil George)

A male Beautiful Demoiselle (Neil George)

A female Beautiful Demoiselle (Neil George)

A female Beautiful Demoiselle (Neil George)

A male Drake Mackerel Mayfly (Neil George)

A female Drake Mackerel Mayfly (Neil George)

An Alderfly (Neil George)

Speckled Wood (Neil George)

A possible Common Red-legged Robberfly (Neil George)

Savernake Forest

2 Hawfinch, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, 20 Common Crossbill and 2 Cuckoo. More on the WOS Site Here.

(Shane & Geoff Faulkner)

Stanton Park

We had evening stroll at Stanton Park where we hoped to see the Spotted Flycatcher, but it wasn’t around (at least, not where we looked). But we did see a very friendly Robin (these are uncropped pictures, so you can tell I was close!), a Small Copper and a Broad-bodied Chaser. Also a Blue Tit leaving a nest box.

(Neil George)

Robin (Neil George)

Robin (Neil George)

Blue Tit (Neil George)

Blue Tit leaving the nest box (Neil George)

Small Copper (Neil George)

Broad-bodied Chaser (Neil George)


There were fledged Blue Tits here in the garden today

(Richard Williams)

27 May 16

Braydon Common

Best night of the year last night for number of species 21.

7 were new for year (NFY):
Shuttle-shaped Dart, Agrotis puta 
Clouded-bordered Brindle, Apamea crenata
The Coronet, Craniophora ligustri 
Middle-barred Minor, Oligia fasciuncula
And micros:
Nematopogon sp.
Ribwort Slender, Aspilapteryx tringipennella
Common Roller, Ancylis badiana

But it was still only 27 moths in total.

(Lysana Robinson)

Cotswold Water Park

Red-footed Falcon still present over CWP Pit 68a. Via BirdGuides Here


Thank you to Neil for inviting me to his "Back Garden". And what a Beautiful day it was, in more ways than one, with absolutely dozens of Beautiful Demoiselles seen along our walk with females outnumbering the males at almost 4:1. Strangely there wasn't a single Banded Demoiselle seen.

There were lots of other highlight, but something neither of us have ever seen before, was what looked like an injured male Chaffinch in the lane. It looked very weak, its tail was at a funny angle, but as we approached it, it took off and landed in the hedge next to us. As we got closer it flew down onto the road a bit further ahead of us and yet again looked injured. As we approached it for the second time it took off and moved further down the hedgerow. This wasn't an injured bird, but a bird feigning injury in an attempt to lead us away from its nest. And I thought only a few waders did this. Thank goodness Neil was with me to witness it, as I don't think anybody would have believed me.

Birds Recorded: 1 Red Kite, 2 Buzzard, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 3 Swift, 1 Skylark heard, 1 Swallow, Robin, Blackbird, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, Adults and juvenile Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, 5 Jackdaw, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, 2 Bullfinch heard and 2 Yellowhammer.

Butterflies: Orange-tips (male and female), Large white, Small White, Common Blue, Holly Blue and Speckled Wood.

Dragonflies & Damselflies: Common Blue Damselfly (female) and 50+ Beautiful Demoiselles.

Other Invertebrae: A male Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopacea) Info, A possible Common Red-legged Robberfly (Dioctria rufipes) and both male and female Drake Mackerel Mayfly (Ephemera vulgata)

(Martin Adlam and Neil George)

Chiffchaff singing. (Martin Adlam)

Magpies (Neil George)

Magpie (Neil George)

Beautiful Demoiselles - 2 males and rest females. (Martin Adlam)

Beautiful Demoiselles - male below, female above. (Martin Adlam)

A male Beautiful Demoiselle (Neil George)

A female Beautiful Demoiselle (Neil George)

A female Common Blue Damselfly. (Martin Adlam)

Drake Mackerel Mayfly - female (Martin Adlam)

Drake Mackerel Mayfly - male (Martin Adlam)

Drake Mackerel Mayfly - male (Neil George)

A male Snipe Fly (Martin Adlam)

A possible Common Red-legged Robberfly (Martin Adlam)

Holly Blue. (Martin Adlam)

Holly Blue. (Neil George)

Rushy Platt Park area

Whilst walking to Waitrose along the canal a Water Vole swam across the canal with a leaf in its mouth, sat on a branch and started eating it. If only I had my camera, was so surprised to see one, particularly in Swindon where rats are pretty well developed.

(Finn Halsall)