Humming-bird Hawk and other delights!

No pictures but in our sheltered valley today, we had our first Humming-bird Hawk moth, plus Golden-ringed dragonfly; a Hawker perhaps Southern; Beautiful Demoiselles and quite a decent number of butterflies including: meadow Brown, Ringlet, Comma, Large White, Red Admiral, large Skippers and a Silver-washed Fritillary.

And the Long-tailed Tits are back!

Purple Hairstreak butterflies

This is from Gill & Kate who took the photos.

Purple Hairstreak (male)

There were dozens of butterflies, including loads of Commas which Kate was photographing when Gill noticed a small grey thing flitting up under the oaks and wondered if this was a Purple Hairstreak. A little further on, Kate found this and knew it was different. Sadly damaged, perhaps by a bird but this was their first ever real-life sighting.

Purple Hairstreak underwings but damaged


Brilliant record from Rosie but what is it…?

Newer photo of the mystery bird

In their garden, Rosie caught sight of what she first thought was a pink Magpie and I can see why. But I thought it was a Rosy Starling, the colours and pattern matched and they are reported from further west. BUT, as Simon pointed out with some more photos, the beak and legs don’t match and it is looking more and more like a Magpie or something. I will send on to our more experienced birders.¬†Photos R & S Richardson¬†

Rosy Starling
Rosy Starling

Fledglings everywhere…

Cannot believe the numbers of fledgling birds around at the moment. Blackbirds from 2 or 3 broods; 8+ Blue Tits, Great Tits, Marsh & Coal Tits are back with their young, Bullfinch, Chaffinch and a Chiffchaff. One Song Thrush which looked huge but the prize for the most noise goes to the three young Siskins who scream at dad to be fed.

House Martin numbers feeding above have more than doubled so maybe the first broods are out. Only sad report was from Simon H (Stara Woods) who is losing all their nests to a Magpie which has even taken the Swallows from inside the stable.

Chiffchaff nest

Hopefully, the fledglings have safely got away from this little nest made in a corner of our front garden, only about 2′ off the ground but it was well hidden. We noticed the adults, first with beaks of nest material, then going back & forth but only discovered the exact location when watering the front of the border…

Chiffchaff nest from garden

Wildlife up-date for May 11th~

First, the Swifts: seen in Trekenner on May 6th by Ian & Irene, Chris & Travina in Launceston also saw them overhead on the same day. If any one can look for them in Launceston while out on your daily exercise, please look out around the town hall and the College by the old boarding house in Dunheved Road. The Save our Swifts survey has been postponed but send your records to ORKS or look up the RSPB Swift-mapper page to record nesting colonies.

Gill Nicholls walked up near the coast with Jane A and counted at least 65 flowering species although many were named to just genus level so will have been more. Photographed Green Hairstreak & Common Blue butterflies & several Speckled Yellow moths.

Dave & Mary walked out to Buttern Hill and saw Dippers on the Inny ( first for a long time), first Swallows and they caught up with the distant Cuckoo as they approached the moor at Bowithick. Wheatears up on the hill. Back at Laneast, they have Yellowhammers around the village and Down where there are still good numbers of Skylarks.

I have just updated the photos on the home page and it looks like the dragonfly season has started.

And we have a very, very happy Ian McC who has seen his first ever Dormouse in his garden in one of the last places that you’d expect to find one. They do like to surprise us! Hoping for photos and details in time for the newsletter.