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Saturday 24th and Monday 26th June

Saturday 24th June 2017:
It was another warm sunny afternoon on the Common and I walked a circuit on the lower terrace taking in the Rush Pool area and the Cooks side of the Worcester Rd.  Butterflies were the order of the day with 2 Marbled Whites, 6 Small Heath, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Large White, plus many Ringlets & Meadow Browns were recorded.  I also observed my first Small Skipper of the year during the walk.  It was also nice to see a mating pair of Six-spot Burnet moths.

Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena filipendulae) - mating

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Also of interest on the walk was seeing an adult Green Woodpecker with two juveniles on the Cooks side of the Common.  Of concern was the ever-dwindling water levels of the Rush Pool.  The surface area of the water remaning in the pool is now only approx. 10ft by 8ft! 

From the Common I geaded over to Hillditch Pool.  Unlike the Rush Pool, Hillditch is an old mill pond and is fed by a brook (Titton Brook), so is the water level remains fairly constant there.  On arrival at the pool I was greeted by the sight of my first Brown Hawker dragonfly of the year.  Other dragonflies of note were 3♂ Emperor and a single Four-spotted Chaser.  a small number of Common Blue damselflies were also noted during today's visit.

On the bird front, a Raven flew over 'kronking' heading west and the Moorhen family on the main pool still had three chicks with them.

Two Large Skipper butterflies were also observed at this site. As was a Tachinid Fly known as Tachina fera that was feeding on the umbellifer flowers near the pool.

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

Tachina Fera - Tachinid Fly

Monday 26th June 2017:
Today I returned to Hillditch Pool to take advantage of the ongoing sunny weather and spend some time Odonata watching.  On arrival at the site i was welcomed by the site of a Southern Hawker dragonfly that was patrolling the wooded clearing near the roadside pull in.  This is the first Southern Hawker that I have recorded at the site in 2017.  Other dragonflies observed at the pool were a single  Brown Hawker and 4 Emperor (3♂,1♀).

From the pool I walked the adjacent meadow where 2 Large Skipper, 2 Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Speckled Wood were observed. The ubiquitous Meadow Brown and Ringlet were again out in large numbers.

Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus)

The highlight of the visit came in the form of a butterfly caterpillar as I managed to find a second active Painted Lady larval tent near the sand bank (see previous post)

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) - larva in larval tent