|Great Pied Hoverfly|
A section of woodland that rarely yields much, was alive with birds for a change. Initially I had spotted a Great Spotted Woodpecker, but the clearing containing a collection of dead trees also hosted Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Nuthatch and Treecreeper. However the reason I lingered and made no further progress that morning on the walk was discovering a family group of Spotted Flycatchers.
Last year, I had a similar find, about 300 yards from that spot, and almost on the same date.
It was only my second sighting of the species this year anywhere. It was a show stopper and I had no time to complete the circuit. On heading home a Heron gave a rare opportunity for a patch record shot, which I gladly accepted.
I recorded Purple Hairstreak on the far south side of my patch last year, but this year so far had not had a sniff ( anywhere). However as I neared the end of Sundays tour, I stopped at an Oak I had not thought to check out before. Within a few minutes I saw a small butterfly move. They are little butterflies and never easy to find as they spend so much time lurking within the leaves of oaks. When I finally located it, I was absolutely thrilled to see it was a Purple Hairstreak, a new and second site for them on the patch. Getting a record shot was a challenge, but it was all about the find. A great weekend on the patch.
Interestingly this sighting was within 3 days also of when I saw it on the patch in 2012