The September sightings are now uploaded, click here
for a full breakdown of species,
including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, dragonflies,
moths, insects, plants and fungi. Or read on for a snippet of how the month
September saw the continued build-up of wintering waterfowl,
with Teal being present in good numbers throughout the month, reaching
1000+ by the end of the month. By which time 200 Wigeon had also
returned to Skipwith Common NNR. Both Greylag and Canada Geese
numbers also started to increase with the concentration of local breeding
birds. A skein of returning Pink-footed Geese flew south over Bank
Island on the 21st, no doubt enroute to the north Norfolk coast.
Otherwise it was fairly quiet for wildfowl during the month, presumably
reflecting the relatively dry conditions throughout most of the valley.
Wader passage was at best steady early in the month but was
largely over by the 20th with just a late juvenile Greenshank
and lone Green Sandpipers thereafter. Wetter conditions along the
Pocklington Canal corridor of Melbourne and Thornton Ings provided attractive
for Common Snipe with 150+ there on the 1st, whilst Wheldrake
Ings also held 50+ on the 3rd and 4th and more
interesting, Skipwith had 25 on the 3rd.
Green Sandpiper - Wheldrake Ings - D.Bye
Several Marsh Harriers were involved in a series of
records throughout the site, including a wing-tagged bird from Norfolk - giving
an indication of where some of our late summer birds are coming from. A single Red
Kite was seen well at Thornton on the 11th and a male Hen
Harrier flew south through the valley on the 21st. Three Peregrine were logged during the month and several Hobbies
showed well at times, particularly at Wheldrake Ings. Barn Owls
continued to fair well with second broods, with another six chicks ringed on
Red Kite - Thornton Ellers - 11/09
Barn Owl - Bubwith - 11/09
Kingfishers have obviously had a successful breeding
season with a good number of records received during the month, perhaps
relating to 13 individuals, with up to three showing well at both Melbourne Arm
and Wheldrake Ings. Jays were also obvious during the month as they
started to roam from wood to wood in search of food, and perhaps as birds from
other areas also started to move through the area. Other migrants passing
through the valley during the month included a Tree Pipit over Wheldrake
Ings on the 21st, whilst three late Whinchats were still at
North Duffield Carrs on the 20th.
Kingfisher - Wheldrake Ings - D.Bye
Good numbers of warblers were present throughout the month
with several late Reed Warblers presents towards month end, 11 Chiffchaff
caught and ringed at Wheldrake Ings on the 25th (MFJ) were probably
just a fraction of the total present on site that day. The highlight of the
month was undoubtedly the appearance of a flock of 14 erupting Bearded Tits
at Wheldrake Ings on the 27th – the first in the LDV for three years
and the joint largest flock on record.
Reptiles and amphibians were recorded during the month, largely from Skipwith Common and Thornton Ellers. All three reptile species were seen throughout September, with Common Lizards showing on a number of days and two sightings of Adders and Grass Snakes, on the 25th
one individual showed particularly well, pictured below.
Grass Snake - Skipwith Common - 25/09
Butterflies and dragonflies continued to be recorded
throughout the month, with the majority of records coming from Skipwith Common,
Thornton Ellers and the NNR Base Garden. Speckled Woods were the most recorded
species throughout (72 sightings logged), whilst Peacocks, Red Admirals and
Small Tortoiseshells were recorded in pleasing numbers. The three species of
whites (Small, Large & Green-veined) were on the wing still, with just
three records of Comma’s and a single Brimstone and Small Copper.
Comma - Thornton Ellers - 11/09
Brimstone - Thornton Ellers - 11/09
Skipwith Common, Thornton Ellers and Wheldrake Ings produced
the majority of the dragonfly records, with the three species of darter
recorded throughout the month, and in good numbers – particularly Ruddy and
Common. Southern Hawkers, Migrant Hawkers and Brown Hawkers were recorded
throughout, where as Emerald Damselflies were only present on a handful of
dates and in low numbers – with the end of the season fast approaching for this
Emerald Damselfly - Skipwith Common - 02/09
Ruddy Darter - Skipwith Common - 02/09
Whilst out working on site time was also taken to have a
good look for other invertebrates, with a pleasing number of new species found,
in particular eight new spiders such as the Four-spot Orb Weaver, Furrow Spider, Walnut Orb Weaver, Marbled Orb Weaver and the Invisible Spider.
Four-spot Orb Weaver - Skipwith Common - 25/09
Furrow Spider - Skipwith Common - 02/09
Marbled Orb Weaver - Skipwith Common - 02/09
A number new beetles were also added to the 2014
'pan' and Shield Bugs continued to be found in good numbers across the site, with
Skipwith Common being a particular hot-spot. The first adult Green Shield Bug was found, after weeks of seeing numerous nymphs.
Bronze Shield Bug - Skipwith Common - 02/09
Green Shield Bug - Skipwith Common - 25/09
A new species of Ladybird was found on Skipwith Common - the Orange Ladybird, and another Harlequin Ladybird (form succinea) was seen at Thornton Ellers in the scabious meadow.
Harlequin Ladybird H.succinea - Thornton Ellers - 11/09
Orange Ladybird - H.sedecimguttata - Skipwith - 25/09
Two other new species of insect were found, both on the Common - Marsh Damselbug and a Staphylinid Beetle Platydracus latebricola.
Marsh Damselbug Nabis limbatus - Skipwith Common - 11/09
Platydracus latebricola - Skipwith Common - 02/09
Fungi continued to appear on the Common throughout September, with species such as Fly Agaric, Common Puffball, Spiny Puffball, Ochre Brittlegill and Tawny Grisette.
Tawny Grissette - Skipwith Common - 02/09
Follow the link here
to read the individual species breakdowns, and many thanks to those who contributed records throughout the month.