Saturday, 3 June 2017

Thorne Moors Specials

This week was half-term, but on Wednesday and Thursday we participated in two one off specials to Thorne Moors.  Both days were very warm, and the walk was long and arduous, but there the similarities almost ended.  
Hobby chewing a dragonfly 
On Thursday we were walking past the former colliery entrance when we were arrested by the delightful purring of a Turtle Dove.  We couldn't see it as a line of Silver Birches blocked our view.  We needn't have worried as later a Turtle Dove flew towards us, and landed on a rather ugly lamp-post.  Unfortunately, the sun was behind a cloud at first, but eventually it broke through, and the colour of the Turtle Dove changed before our very eyes.  As luck would have it the bird was facing away from us at the time.  It flew off without showing us its profile.
Turtle Dove
 The Sun shines on the Turtle
Common Blue
 Grass Species releasing its pollen
 Immature Robin
 Large Red Damselfly 
 Four-Spotted Chaser
 Drinker Moth Caterpillar
 Buck Roe Deer
 Tiger Beetle
We found this sadly deceased creature on the road on which the vehicles of only wardens and volunteers are permitted to drive.
 A flick of Simon's Swiss Army Penknife revealed it was a small Adder - a needless death.
We hadn't been on the road long, when Ken spotted a distant Cuckoo revealed in the empty 'V' between various pieces of vegetation.
Ken's Cuckoo
On Wednesday we soon spotted at least 4 Hobbies, a couple of which came fairly close, but on Thursday there were none to be seen.  There was a stronger wind on Thursday from the south, which may have moved the Hobbies to the leeward side of Will Pit Wood.  Although we did eventually see some very distant Hobbies over the tree tops there were never as obliging on Thursday, as they had been on Wednesday.
 Marsh Harriers
 Ground Beetle
After lunch around a picnic table both groups headed back on a circular route which took in the viewing tower.   On Wednesday a volunteer patiently pointed out a Large Heath butterfly nectaring on a Marsh Cinquefoil, which was a new butterfly for many, as was the plant!  The return journey for both sessions was relatively uneventful, although on Thursday we did see a man hiding in the bushes!  It wasn't clear what he was upto!  
Large Heath on Marsh Cinquefoil
 Marsh Cinquefoil
Some of the other species seen included: Swift, House Martin, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Willow Warbler, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Chaffinch, Marsh Harrier, Lapwing, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Black Headed Gull, Sedge Warbler, Mallard, Goldfinch, Tufted Duck, Kestrel, Common Buzzard, Meadow Pipit, Wren & Dunnock.

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