Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Wildlife in May...

Thanks to Dave Helliar (Twitter: @DHelliar) for sending in some fantastic photos of local wildlife seen during the last month. May really is when it all starts happening around here, a great time of year to be out and about enjoying the local wildlife.

Kicking off with some localised birds from the southwest:

Corn Bunting, now sadly a Red List species due to its
dramatic decline over the last 25 years
Common Cranes from the release project seen flying
over Langport, Somerset
Common Cranes: D. Helliar

 A good bird for Somerset was this Gull-billed Tern which lingered around Steart Wetlands WWT for most of the day on 30th May.

Gull-billed Tern: D. Helliar
Gull-billed Tern: D. Helliar
Gull-billed Tern: D. Helliar
An influx of Red Kites towards the end of May saw in excess of
50 birds drift into the local region, including this individual nr Chard
Turtle Dove - very rare in the Southwest these days following a
dramatic decline in numbers. You now have to travel to see these
once common birds. This one from Hampshire.
Turtle Dove, a Red List species: D. Helliar
Tree Pipit at last! Doesn't seem to be as many of these
around locally this year. They seem to be in decline too.
Tree Pipit: D. Helliar

Insects are more prevalent in May but again many species are in decline and much rarer than they were just a decade ago.

Adonis Blue, Hampshire: D. Helliar
Brown Argus in mint condition: D. Helliar
Duke of Burgundy. Sadly the remaining local populations are
getting smaller and less viable every year. It seems inevitable
that this charming butterfly will soon disappear from some of
its traditional Somerset haunts.
Duke of Burgundy: D. Helliar
Grizzled Skipper seen near Chard: D. Helliar
Libellula depressa, nr Chard: Dave Helliar

Libellula quadrimaculata, nr Chard: D. Helliar

 And finally a few reptiles to finish on...good to see some things are thriving locally...

Grass Snake Natrix natrix helvetica
Large and well marked female: D. Helliar
Grass Snake - different individual under refuge: D. Helliar
Grass Snake: D. Helliar
Grass Snake, female. Basking on pile of old sticks: D. Helliar
Two's company...
Common Lizard Zootoca vivipara: D. Helliar
 Thanks to Dave for supplying such great photos - all taken on the Nikon P900 incidentally, a superb choice for getting good photos without the need to get too close.

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