What a gorgeous little butterfly! I eventually managed a few photos of a Dingy Skipper at Havannah nature reserve last week. They are so small and difficult to keep track of once they are on the wing but these butterflies are anything but ‘dingy’. This one was in immaculate condition and is beautifully marked – awesome!
This Orange Tip was being buffeted by the wind on Tuesday. It would have been impossible to spot but for ten seconds where the wind dropped and the sun shone brightly and it briefly took flight. Gorgeous!
On my lunch break I decided to take a “quick” trip up to Havannah Nature Reserve between Hazlerigg and Dinnington, as it’s not too far from work. I had never been here before, despite it being right on my doorstep for years but I was seriously impressed.
As well as butterflies, the reserve has got a reputation as a great spot for dogging. I can’t say anything about that but I can confirm that Havannah does seem to be a pretty good place for butterflies.
I was hoping to perhaps spot a Dingy Skipper, which is what the reserve is most well-known for but I was a bit early I think – maybe next week or the week after. There were dozens of Orange Tip on the wing however, as well as Large White, Small White and Green Veined White.
I also spotted a few Peacock and Speckled Wood butterflies, as well as a number of Large Red damselfly which were my first damselflies of the year.
Needless to say I will be paying another visit to Havannah nature reserve as soon as I can. It looks a good spot not just for butterflies but birds and other invertebrates too.
Superb male Orange Tip…
And a lovely female Orange Tip to go with it…
Large White Butterfly…
And last but not least, a Green Veined White butterfly.
Leaving the house this morning, I figured there was a good chance of seeing my first Swift of the year over Holywell Pond. When I got there though it was fairly quiet – just a few Swallows hawking insects over the rapeseed fields.
The American Wigeon was still at the pond, in its usual spot, along with a few Canada Geese, some Mallard, Gadwall and a pair of Shelduck. A pair of Lapwing were also in the vicinity, with one of the birds in the meadow (presumably the female) whilst the other bird performed crazy aerobatics over the water.
It was great to see three pairs of Common Terns on the island too. I was not sure that any chicks fledged last year, what with the constant presence of Grey Herons lurking menacingly by the island – they must have taken a few young Terns. Apparently some chicks did survive and with the work done to the island this winter, they should have a bit more protection this year.
Heading towards Holywell Dene a Kestrel floated over the trees with another smaller bird in tow. My first, solitary Swift of the year! In a few days their numbers should start to build over the houses and I can look forward to their shrieking cries for the rest of the summer.