Sunday, May 30, 2010

River Thame & its valley @ Starveall Farm, Buckinghamshire

During the late afternoon of Friday May 28th my walk took me around Starveall Farm and down into the shallow valley of the River Thame. About 75% sun during the walk but the breeze limited the temperature to 19°C at the start reducing to 17°C at the end. Nothing in particular targeted but enjoyed views of a range of birds, insects and plants. Of note were the following:

Green-veined White (Pieris napi)

Butterflies seen:

• Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines); 7

• Green-veined White (Pieris napi); 2

• Whites (Pieris sp.); 3

• Peacock (Inachis io); 1

Mayfly - possibily Ephemera danica

Other insects:

• Damselfly, the Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); 3

• Mayfly, sparse swarming by the river and a short distance from it. I think they were all Ephemera danica given the large size and brown wing markings.


Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)

Flora:

• The notable plant in flower was Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi). Seen in the ‘Rushy Meadow’ on the valley side.

Birds:
A good range of both resident and migrant species seen or heard during the walk as is normal for this site. Two good breeding records obtained for the Tetrad:

• Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus); ♀ seen obviously feeding young down by the River Thame;

• Starling (Sturnus vulgaris); rowdy group of adults and fledged young feeding around the River. I suspect they were attracted by the swarming Mayflies.

Other birds of note were:

• Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo); 1

• Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea); 2

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