Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Autumn transitions

This is now well underway, with cooler mornings and some marvellous days, punctuated by what are perhaps the last showers of the season. Pigeon Valley is very green and dense for the time of year, unlike last year, when it was already very dry in April. By chance I ended up on a butterfly census with Roy Cowgill and Steve Davis yesterday. While I cannot reveal the exact number of individual butterflies present yesterday in the reserve (I will leave that for Wikilepileaks) they told me that they had amassed 33 species by the time we parted. The day before I had seen a marvellous sight of butterflies clustered on the leaking sap of a Vepris Lanceolata (take the path behind the map going up to the right; when it reaches a T junction stare straight ahead). They were mainly Green-veined, Blue-Spotted and White-barred Charaxes, I was reliably informed.

It has been particularly hard to see any birds, and I suspect that with all the rain still inland, there are plenty of competing attractions at present. However, a very unexpected sighting was when I looked for alien plants outside the fence, at the end of Morris Place, and disturbed a nightjar, either Mozambique or Fiery-necked. And then today I had my first view of a Spotted Ground-thrush, delayed because of my being overseas for two weeks. My brother said that he thought he had heard a second one call at the time I saw this. The place to look is around the map area, particularly across the main path to the left, if you are facing up the reserve.

At home two very vocal Red-capped Robin-chats are coexisting in the garden, and a Black-backed Puffback greets us every morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment