As I made my way to Birk Bank to check out the bog for dragonflies on Thursday, I was muttering to myself, this is a mistake I'm making. The plan was then to do a circuit, Ottergear Bridge-Cragg Wood-Littledale Road-Rigg Lane. But the weather was unsettled, not a day for a dragonfly hunt, and I soon found myself sheltering from a downpour under a tree, and by now feeling pretty miserable....
But things bucked up, the rain passed and in fact it turned out to be a good day. The dragons took too the wing, and over the next hour, I eventually had 6 Keeled Skimmer sightings all male, 2 Four-spotted Chaser, 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, and a Common Lizard. There was a ramp-up in excitement when I saw a family of 5 Stonechat, the first breeding record found at this precise location in 30 years Stonechat'ing on Clougha.
Now I was off on the planned circuit to find along the way, 8 Mistle Thrush were milling around as I left the bog, as were a flock of 10 Meadow Pipit seen later. Others of note, Song Thrush, Willow Warbler, 4 Wren, 2 Blackbird, and a Great Tit.
When I arrived at Cragg Wood, I was quite chuffed to see a Golden-ringed Dragonfly flying across the forge on the River Conder. I heard Garden Warbler and one of 2 Blackcap seen in the area, also a single House Martin seen to enter a nest at Cragg Cottage, also 3 Chiffchaff heard on the circuit. Butterflies seen, up to 12 Meadow Brown, a Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell....Therapeutic wanderings, including excellent dragonfly results, and a brilliant Stonechat record.
Saturday 2 July.
Checking the canal at Garstang to follow-up an incident there three weeks ago - a little more on that in a future post - I found 2 Banded Demoiselle, several Common Blue Damselfly, a Kingfisher, and an interesting moth.
Ermine Moth. Pete Woodruff.
A moth of the family Yponomeutidae, of which there are several very similar, some of which require DNA analysis for positive ID. They are commonly known as small ermines, this one I can't go beyond calling an Ermine Moth.
Not connected with any subjects in the post, but I'm grateful to Ian Mitchell for his header image of the Common Tern at Conder Pool, from where Ian informs me of 8 Avocet young seen yesterday, including two marked birds.