Tuesday, June 01, 2010

River Thame valley around Chearsley and Cuddington - Buckinghamshire

During the afternoon of Tuesday June 1st I enjoyed another walk in the shallow valley of the River Thame; but, this time, the area between Chearsley & Cuddington. There was a light breeze with temperatures between 14°C & 15°C, plus light rain for some of the time and zero sun.

Given the conditions I expected a birding day and so it proved in part. Of the birds, 30 species were seen or heard and subsequently recorded in Bird Track (http://www.bto.org/birdtrack/index.htm). Yet again I was able to get a good confirmed breeding record for the Bird Atlas (http://www.bto.org/birdatlas/index.htm):

• Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major); 1 recently fledged individual.

Other interesting observations included:

Insects:

• Damselfly, the Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); 3 ♂ plus what I believe were 2 ♀. Two photographs of one female are included with this post; however, I have also sent them to iSpot (http://www.ispot.org.uk/frontpage) for verification!

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); possible

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens); possible

ID of the above confirmed by David at iSpot with the following comment - '..the white false pterostigma near the wingtips confirm that it is a Demoiselle'.

Flora (this could be the star observation of the day or month or year!!):

• Observed some prominent clumps of sedge in one relatively botanically rich, for the area, damp meadow that appears not to have been grazed by cattle since at least the winter. Photographs of the inflorescence are included with this post. The closest I can get to in terms of identification is True Fox Sedge (Carex vulpina). This sedge is not common and one that appears (see map in NBN - http://www.nbn.org.uk/ ) restricted to the environs of the River Ray locally, with no record for this site’s 10K Grid Square. Another one for iSpot I think!

True Fox Sedge (Carex vulpina); possible

True Fox Sedge (Carex vulpina); possible



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