Monday 6 April 2015

Wheatears at Last and Some Spring Wayside Flowers.

Well Salcombe Hill has come up with the goods at last! I didn't think I was ever going to see any migrants after not having seen a Wheatear throughout March. I couldn't understand the lack of migrants, due to the habitat looking ideal, but all that changed this morning. I nearly didn't go up there either due to it being Easter Monday and me being a tad on the anti-social side, but I'm certainly glad I did. All in all I had six Wheatears, 4 males and two females, seven Willow Warblers and frustratingly a very brief male Redstart, which flew between two bushes and then down over the cliff. I waited for several minutes but it didn't reappear.

All the Wheatears were in this field which is where I've been hoping to see them for the last few weeks. Newly spread with muck, it's like Wheatear heaven.
The first time I walked through it there were two, half an hour later there were six!



In the afternoon I paid a short visit to Aylesbeare Common, where considering the nice sunny weather it was relatively quiet. I did see a single female Dartford Warbler and a very striking male Stonechat, with more than his fair share of white plumage,which certainly made me look twice!

Female Dartford Warbler

Male Stonechat

I've also done a bit of botanizing today, just looking at a few spring flowers along the roadsides locally and I've also seen lots of butterflies including, Small Tortoiseshell (2), Peacock (6+), Brimstone 4, and my first Holly Blues (2) of the year.

Brimstone nectaring on Lesser Periwinkle - Vinca minor

Peacock basking on the roadside.

  Common Dog Violets - Viola riviniana  with queen Early Bumblebee - Bombus pratorum

  Common Dog Violets - Viola riviniana

Wood Anemone - Anemone nemorosa

Yellow Archangel - Lamiastrum galeobdolon subsp. Argentatum

Three Cornered Leek - Allium triquetrum

Ivy-leaved Speedwell - Veronica hederifolia subsp.hederifolia.
With blue petals and dark blue anthers.

Ivy-leaved Speedwell - Veronica hederifolia subsp.lucorum.
With pale lilac flowers and white anthers.
Well possibly, I should really check other details to be certain. They are two different colour forms at least.


Wilma said...

Great shots and that sun looks so good!

Natasha said...

Amazing photos Karen, it's so good to see butterflies again! - Tasha