It was a beautiful day to be wandering around the local countryside looking at the wildlife. The most interesting sight was the abundance of Marbled White Butterflies, white-coloured butterflies with an unmistakable bright pattern chequered like a chessboard. Apparently this toxic butterfly is not a true white butterfly but a brown and as with all browns its caterpillars feed on grasses. The butterfly itself prefers scabious and knapweed but we saw neither of those flowers.
With them were also many Meadow Browns and what we believe to be Essex Skippers. The difference between the Essex Skipper and a Small Skipper is the colour of the tips of the antennae, with those of the Essex Skipper being black and the Small Skipper pale brown, which makes it difficult to positively identify.
There was just a lone gull on the lake at Creeksea but we were told a diving duck had recently been seen there, remaining underwater for a length of time and emerging some way off. There was still plenty of birdsong and we listened for some time to the joyous song of a Blackcap singing loud and clear. There were also many Linnets with the males showing their bright red chests and forehead. We have often heard Reed Warblers in the Riverside Park but today there seemed to be more of them than usual, with their songs coming from various places amongst the reeds, and there was also one singing in a bush on land and another answering from the cover of the reeds. Also, a first for us was a Water Vole foraging amongst the reeds at the water’s edge.
We did find a Prickly Lettuce otherwise called the Compass Plant as its upper leaves when in full sun point north and south.
Next Meeting – Tuesday 18th July, meet at the Marina Car Park 10.00
Birds: Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Crow, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Sparrow, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Linnet, Blackcap, Wren, Pied Wagtail, Swallow, Green Woodpecker, Pheasant, Reed Warbler, Black-headed & Herring Gulls, Little Egret.
Flowers: Bristly Ox-tongue, Salsify, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Ox-eye Daisy, Dandelion, Mallow, Small-flowered Cranesbill, Scented & Scentless Mayweed, Hoary Cress, Ragwort, Groundsel, White Campion, Field Poppy, Red & White Clover, Ribwort Plantain, Yarrow, Stinging Nettle, Honeysuckle, Wild Carrot, Bramble, Agrimony, Purple Loosestrife, Field Bindweed, Marsh Thistle, Hedge Mustard, Curled Dock, Prickly Lettuce, Scarlet Pimpernel, Lucerne, Hedge Bindweed, Hoary Cress, Cinquefoil, Reedmace
Butterflies: Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Essex Skipper, Large White
Other: Water Vole, 7-spot Ladybird, Grasshopper, Hover Fly, Cardinal Beetle, White-tailed Bumble Bee