Monday, 28 July 2014

Aston Rowant and Otmoor RSPB - 27th July 2014

Day 3 of my 'day out' saw us head to Aston Rowant for the 2nd year in a row for the two main targets being Chalkhill Blue and Silver-spotted Skipper. Both were very much evident on the reserve and gave fantastic views. We met up with Sam Viles onsite and he was kind enough to lend me one of his macro extension tubes which allowed for much better photos than I would've otherwise been able to get.
 Chalkhill Blue male
Chalkhill Blue male
 Silver-spotted Skipper underwing
Silver-spotted Skipper upperwing
 Brown Argus upperwing
 Large White underwing
 Meadow Brown underwing
 Chalkhill Blue female underwing
 Chalkhill Blue female upperwing
Chalkhill Blue - showing how pale they look, especially in flight. Very noticeable in the field.
 Essex Skipper. Just about see the black underside to the antennae tips.
Final stop of the trip was Otmoor RSPB to look for Brown Hairstreaks. Here we met back up with Sam Viles and I met Paul Brewster for the first time. We managed to see at least 3 basking on Ash trees. Not quite as showy as you'd wish your first Brown Hairs, but the views through a scope of the hairstreak below walking around on leaves was just brilliant. It was also educational to see one fighting a Purple Hairstreak as the larger size of the brown was evident.
 Brown Hairstreak (Scope views of this wonderful butterfly were much much better!!)
After pleasing views of the hairstreaks, we went to look for the onsite Glossy Ibis which eventually was showing well from the screen.
2 Turtle Doves were seen after going to see the Glossy Ibis including this purring individual. The first time I've EVER heard the purr! So happy I got to see one as I was starting to worry I'd never see another one. My last sighting was 2009 at Spurn! A superb way to end an amazing weekend.

Thanks Steff for driving, Alex for the invite and both for the company!

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