Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thame Valley Shabbington - Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire border

A lunchtime walk along the River Thame on the Buckinghamshire bank downstream of Shabbington. I started the walk at 11:45 and finished around 14:00. 15°C and 90% cloud at the start but rapidly changing to 100% sun and 19°C.


The following were of note.

Insects:

Butterflies – one large unidentified insect flying at a distance and one White seen; the latter possibly a Small or Green-veined White (Pieris rapae or Pieris napi). However, I did get firm ids on two other butterflies – 1 ♂ Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and 1 Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).

Dragonflies – I think I had a Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) though too distant to id with certainty and could not obtain a record shot. However, I did see some Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) with at least one pair in tandem and ovipositing.

♂ Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Flora:
The following were in flower:

Water Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides)

Not sure about this one! I am checking with the community on iSpot.
Input from the iSpot community suggests:
Great Yellow-cress (Rorippa amphibia)


Comment from allrounder: This looks from the picture like Great Yellow-cress and as the scientific name suggests is found in and by fresh water. Your picture shows a plant with a stout stem, lanceolate, toothed leaves and the fruits are oval with a style. All indicators of Great Yellow-cress. This plant is described as only locally common so a good find.

Birds:

Good views of the following were obtained:

• Mute swan (Cygnus olor) – the winter flock had 4 individuals in it.

• Redshank (Tringa tetanus) – 1 disturbed from the river; white pointed rump and broad edge to trailing wing edges very diagnostic. This is a first for me at any of my River Thame sites!

• Buzzard (Buteo buteo) – 2;

• Red kite (Milvus milvus) – 5+;

• Grey heron (Ardea cinerea) – 1;

• Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) – flock of 25 to 30 flying over.

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