Thursday 21 August 2014

Long hot summer

Just realised that 8 of my last 10 posts were about Northumberland - so just to clarify, I haven't moved, and I still spent most of the summer in my adopted home of Dorset. The up country trips were holidays/escapism, while back at home, a change of job, and the usual conveyor belt of visitors who tend to roll up when you live in such a wonderful county, have seriously cramped the time and energy I have available for birding lately.

So on the down side, from my point of view, I get less time to immerse myself in this medium, which I now realise has been a good outlet for some creative energy which probably wasn't being used to the full. On the up side, from your point of view, this has put an end to the long, rambling posts beloved of this blog. No more real time reports of 14 hour twitches either - there just isn't the time to go, let alone write them up.

So, in lieu of all that stuff, here's a straight-forward wash up of some local stuff that I saw and did over the summer. Some of it, even if old news now, was pretty cool.
Exciting and frustrating at the same time was the discovery of a small colony of 2nd generation Map butterflies near Swanage by my good friend Steve Smith - their origins unknown.
Expert opinion has leant towards a deliberate release being more likely than a natural colonisation - if so, the misguided individuals who illegally release captive bred, non-native butterflies into the wild, rather than helping biodiversity, are in fact obscuring the reality of what's happening in the countryside.
The underside, dissected by trunk and branch lines, does indeed look like a 'Map'
This Hummingbird Hawkmoth spent a couple of days in my kitchen in mid-August. Attracted by lavender in the garden, it secreted itself behind curtains at night.
A Wasp Spider - a large female - was the highlight of a rare visit to Swineham
This Hobby caused panic among large flocks of hirundines at Swineham
A roosting Southern Hawker was also at Swineham

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