Sunday, 14 May 2017

Butterflies at Penhale and a White Stork on the Goss Moor

Today I met up with a friend from work and joined up with a Cornwall butterfly field trip at Penhale Sands near Perranporth. I was hoping to see Grizzled Skipper ( this is the only site in Cornwall for this species) but they are very scarce even here and are so small and difficult to locate that I wasn't sure we would see them. However after only 5 minutes of searching the group had found several of these smart little butterflies, even a couple of Taras individuals, a rare variant that has much more white in it's wings. The rest of the morning was spent exploring the dunes and learning from the experts about different moths and butterflies and seeing a stunning Emperor Moth which was my highlight. I was also keeping an eye out for birds and saw several Common Whitethroats, a singing Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Chiff chaffs , 2 Willow Warblers and 2 Swifts. 

Brown Argus

Grizzled Skipper

Dingy Skipper

Emperor Moth

Grizzled Skipper (Taras)

Garden Tiger Moth catterpillar , somewhat Porcupine like!

After lunch I met up with Pete to do some more ringing on the Goss Moor, we decided to set up at Tregoss and as we where putting up the first net  up we could hear a lot of commotion from a flock of gulls feeding in a ploughed field . They where really shouting and as they spiralled I could see a large bird just above them, foolishly I had left my binoculars with the rest of the ringing gear so I started to sprint back towards the car as this was certainly going to be something good ( A Crane or a Stork?)! I quickly picked up my binoculars and after getting my bearings I locked onto a large bird flying just above the skyline with deep slow wing beats, as it turned side on I shouted White Stork! This stunning bird however didn't stop for long and was soon heading east and gaining height, we jumped in the car and headed back towards Roche, checking any vantage point to hopefully see it again but sadly we did not, it was the first White Stork I have found in the county and a new bird for Pete! And a day we will remember for a long time....

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