Sunday, 11 July 2010

City wildlife and Webtest

Sunday 11th July: both adults on the tower this morning but no sign there or on the police aerial of the juveniles. They must be further afield somewhere.
Now the peregrines are less in evidence, us naturalists can turn our attention to other wildlife in the city. Here are a few recent observations:

On elm trees just north of the cathedral by the inner ring round there's a small colony of the delightful white letter hairstreak butterfly. They are small and tend to fly round the very tops of the elms so they can be difficult to see. The photo shows one that was sunning itself on a leaf low down early one morning. The white 'w' mark across the wings gives this butterfly its name.

The swifts that fly round the cathedral are now reduced in numbers and, withthe hot summer we've had, may have successfully completed their breeding season and set off back to Africa already. Certainly there have been large southward movements of swifts at the coast involving up to 10,000 birds in a single day!
On one roadside verge I found a profusion of ladies bedstraw, an attractive plant which was indeed used to sweeten the smell of bedding in times gone by. It's a widespread plant but always good to see in an urban setting.

Finally, in case I get grumbled at for going off topic, here's a Colin Pass sequence of photos from 2008 of the falcon stooping.

Nick B (DWT)


Phoebe said...

All seems quiet on the peregrine front. I see an adult on the left side of the scrape at the moment. I hope the youngsters are still about.

I agree Nick that there is lots of other wildlife just buzzing around us. I love the photo of the white letter hairstreak butterfly. I have seen only a few different butterflies in and around my garden, one of my favourites being the Orange tip a simple butterfly but always pleases me to see them but my garden favourite is the peacock, not seen many of them this year.

I managed to catch a teeny weeny baby short-tailed vole running across my lawn, put it in a jar to photograph then put it back where I found it. I was amazed at how it tunnelled under the grass. It was a treat to see.

Thanks for the photos and info.

AnnieF. said...

What awful news about 008. It really demonstrates how precarious their lives are, and proves that they still need all the help we can give them to maintain/increase their numbers.
Is Cathy the only juvenile left from last year?

AnnieF. said...

@ PM (DM):

Thanks for that - I'm having enough trouble with my computer already!