Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Kiplingcotes and Goodmanham Wold

I headed for a morning walk at Kiplingcotes NR. The trip started with very brief sunny spells and cooler weather than yesterday. As I got in the reserve, there were plenty of rabbits grazing, most young of the year, and amongst them in the grassy plain there was a flock of Starlings with noisily begging young. Linnets, a Yellowhammer, a Pied Wagtail and a few Mistle Thrushes were also foraging on the grass.
Young rabbit on the look-out.
Mistle Thrush
Pied Wagtail
A male Linnet atop an ash.
The few sunny spells did stir a few insects into activity. I spotted these colourful hoverflies at the bottom of the chalk pit. 
Volucella bombylans, a bumblebee mimic.
and Xanthogramma citrofasciatum, a wasp mimic which was also a new species for me.
I moved onto the top of the reserve, were I found this day-flying moth
Burnet Companion moth, Euclidia glyphica, also a new one for me
Ot the top path, a Wall Brown butterfly.
and a Soldier beetle, Cantharis rustica.

There was a veritable bird chorus all morning. Willow Warblers, Yellowhammers, Chaffinch, Skylark and Great Tits were particularly vocal.

Male Yellowhammer singing.
After chatting to a pair of botanists that were visiting for the first time, I left the reserve and walked along the Hudson Way towards Market Weighton. The hedgerows were blooming with Hawthorn and crab apple in bloom, and with many wildflowers on the verges and the sunny spells lengthening the insects starting appearing.
This Willow Warbler's mate was collecting nest material and bringing it to the nest site. I was surprised to find that the nest was on the ground, in between grass and nettles of the verge, but this is apparently the usual nest location for this species.
A Speckled Wood settles after a fight with another male, wings a bit tattered.
There was a large patch of flowering brassicas (I'd love to know what they are!) that was teeming with insects. I think this is Halictus rubicundus.
A Rhingia campestris hoverfly, there were more feeding on Dead White Nettle
a green-veined white butterfly,
and many Nomad bees, with males checking females. Here a female Nomada flava,
and a male of the same species, and
a black and red leafhopper, Cercopis vulnerata.
A flowering vetch was briefly visited by a male Orange tip, of which there were many about, I saw four individuals at once, but they were in patrol mode in search of females, checking every other butterfly they encountered along the path. This was the only one that settled.
 A predatory sawfly, Tenthredo mesomela I think.
I heard the characteristic call of a Marsh Tit call and spotted the bird on the hedgerow. It approached me inquisitively when I imitated the call.
But then decided to sunbathe! it adopted a relaxed pose and stretched its plumage like so:
All that would have made for a great day out, but then a passing male Brimstone decided to feed on some Red Campion and then to have a lengthy stop to sunbathe on a cluster of hawthorn flowers. Having both the male Orange Tip and Brimstone sitting in a single morning was much more than I was hoping for.

Butterfly List (2 km2)
  1. Brimstone
  2. Wall Brown
  3. Large White
  4. Green-veined white
  5. Orange tip
  6. Speckled Wood
Bird list (2 km2)
  1. Blackbird 
  2. Blackcap 
  3. Bullfinch 
  4. Buzzard 
  5. Carrion Crow 
  6. Chaffinch 
  7. Dunnock 
  8. Goldfinch 
  9. Great Tit 
  10. House Martin 
  11. Jackdaw 
  12. Kestrel 
  13. Linnet 
  14. Magpie 
  15. Marsh Tit 
  16. Meadow Pipit 
  17. Mistle Thrush 
  18. Pheasant 
  19. Pied/White Wagtail
  20. Red Kite 
  21. Red-legged Partridge 
  22. Robin 
  23. Rook 
  24. Skylark 
  25. Song Thrush 
  26. Starling 
  27. Swallow 
  28. Swift 
  29. Tree Sparrow 
  30. Whitethroat 
  31. Willow Warbler 
  32. Woodpigeon 
  33. Wren 
  34. Yellowhammer
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