This afternoon something remarkable occurred, there was actually some sunshine! Buoyed by this sudden glimpse of summer I headed straight down to the patch to see if there were any butterflies on the wing.
I decided to walk the circuit around Butts Lane/Barrs Lane and the adjacent field. Within minutes of being out on the patch I picked up a Hobby flying in from the direction of Stone church and right over heading West. This was the first Hobby of 2012 for the site and these agile raptors are always a welcome sight! If I didn't see much else then the visit will still have been worth while.
Also on the bird front I watched an adult Common Buzzard return to its nest site carrying prey in its talons. On nearing the site the calls of a juvenile Buzzard could clearly be heard. This was great news...I must check on the patch's other breeding pair over the next week.
As for the butterflies well, as with everywhere this poor summer, it wasn't as good on this front as I had hoped with only 4 Large Skippers and 1 Small White noted.
I did however fair better on the moth front with 4 Cinnabar Moths noted. On walking through the long grasses I flushed good numbers of Grass Veneers and 2 Timothy Tortrix moths (I love that name...it makes me smile every time I hear it!). The highlight on the invert front though was flushing a Common Wainscot moth which I managed to relocate and photograph. Not an uncommon species but one I hadn't noted at this site before.
All in all it was an enjoyable and productive walk. It's just a shame that the crappy weather would set back in for the next couple of days!
Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens)
Click on image to enlarge