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The big catch up (part 3) - October 2017

Monday 2nd October - Lower Poolands:
A very productive visit to the Common today with the undoubted highlight being 3 Stonechats (2♂, 1♀) that had dropped off on migration.  The passage migration of birds didn't stop there as 18 Meadow Pipits flew through heading SW and 26 Goldfinch flew over heading W.

Stonechats (Saxicola rubicola)

Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

It was also a productive visit on the fungi front with a number of different species observed including Fly Agaric, Deceiver, Snowy Waxcap, Common EarthballCommon Puffball, Brick Tuft and Sulphur Tuft.

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

Deceiver (Laccaria laccata)

Brick Tuft (Hypholoma lateritium)

Tuesday 3rd October - Lower Heath:
This morning I walked a circuit around the Lower Heath area of the Common.  Notable birds were a single Meadow Pipit that dropped in and 3 Common Buzzards that were up soaring.  

A small number of butterflies were present,  with 4 Small Copper, 1 Speckled Wood and a Small White recorded.  Other insects of note were a single Hornet and a Spiked Shieldbug.  The latter being a new species for me.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Spiked Shieldbug (Picromerus bidens)

Saturday 14th October - Hillditch Pool:
The undoubted highlight today was not only hearing the squealing call of a Water Rail but seeing the said individual quickly run in front of the reeds before disappearing back into the vegetation.  This is only my second record of this species for the site. 

It was also quite a productive visit on the insect front with 4 Hornet, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Migrant Hawker, 1 ♂ Common Darter, a 7-spot Ladybird and a Green Shieldbug nymph recorded.

Tuesday 17th October - Hillditch Pool:
Sadly, there was no sight nor sound of Water Rail on today's visit.  That said, Hillditch still delivered on the invertebrate front with 2 Red Admiral, 2 Migrant Hawker dragonflies, a 22-spot Ladybird and 2 Hornets (both of which were feeding on the Ivy flowers).

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

Hornet (Vespa crabro)

Wednesday 25th October - Lower Poolands:
It wasn't the most productive visit to the common today in terms of inverts but 4 Red Admirals were of note.  Things were slightly better on the fungi front with Candlesnuff, Parasol Mushroom and Sulphur Tuft recorded.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Friday 27th October - Lower Heath:
There were still a few butterflies on the wing during today's visit with 1 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Small Copper noted.  Other notable inverts recorded included a Gorse Shieldbug and a queen Red-tailed Bumblebee.

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus)

There was also a variety of interesting fungi fruiting at Lower Heath with Blackening Waxcaps, Snowy Waxcaps and Golden Spindles of note.

Blackening Waxcaps (Hygrocybe conica)

Saturday 28th October - Hillditch Pool:
With autumn migration in full swing today was all about the bird movements.  Of note were 8 Skylark that flew through heading NW, 6 Pied Wagtail heading E and a single Cormorant heading SW.  Three Common Buzzards that were up soaring above the reserve.


  1. Great blog post Jase. Autumn is a brilliant time of year.

    1. Thanks Dean. Totally Agree mate re. autumn (the only problem with it is that winter follows!)

  2. Excellent post, Jason, and wonderful images.