Friday, 8 August 2014

Tuesday 5th August 2014 - Aston Rowant NNR, Bucks/Oxon

Some of the very observant ones amongst you will know that I usually celebrate my birthday on 5th August. This year was no exception. Due to exemplary behaviour, I was allowed to skip work as well. This is due to the fact that I never went to school on my birthday, and so I still continue with the tradition and try to never work on it either.

I've recently started trying to get a tick on my birthday, a feat I've never achieved in Britain yet. I was successful a few years ago in Tenerife when I managed to clean up all the island endemics on my birthday.

This year, I decided to try for some butterfly ticks instead. Armed with information from North Staffordshire's butterfly site expert DK, I headed down the M40 to J6 and Red Kite country, to a reserve called Aston Rowant.

The original forecast was quite favourable, with a sunny morning forecast, but as I drove south, it started to rain. Rain isn't quite the weather for butterflies, but I carried on regardless. By the time I arrived it had stopped, but it was a bit windy and dull. And for the first hour, I didn't see too much.

But it warmed up and bit and the butterflies started to show. I did manage to see my three targets for the trip, Chalk Hill Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper and Brown Argus. And a pleasant day was had.

Chalk Hill Blues

Silver-spotted Skipper

My finger to show how small Brown argus are

Brown Argus

Also bumped into these two beasts. 

A Field Grasshopper

...and female Meadow Grasshopper

My British Grasshopper list now stands at 2.

A finally to August. What can it bring. Well, it's been quite good in the past locally in August. Two of the best birds found locally in recent times have been found in August, namely the Westport Lake Sabine's Gull and Ring-necked Duck. And here's two pictures for you all to remind you of those great August days.