2nd August 2017 – It rained most of the day but I did check Cannop Ponds as I was passing. There are now 6 Tufted Ducks present. The numbers are very gradually building up for the winter! All of the resident Mandarin Ducks that I could see are now in eclipse plumage.
1st August 2017 – I noted a number of butterfies around the church at Garway including a few Red Admirals. There was no sign of the breeding Swifts there. They must have left on their migration. There were, however, still House Martins sweeping the rolling countryside here. However, there were some Swifts over Ross-on-Wye this morning and a large number in the evening over the town.
Sand Martins and Swallows were still present at Wilton Bridge and several Red Admiral butterflies were on the wing around this area too. I have been seeing a number of this species over the past few days and it seems to be a good year for them with what appears to be a recent emergence.
27th July 2017 – There were 2 Red Admiral butterflies on the new fence along the alleyway near Greytree Road this morning.
24th July 2017 – I returned to the Cannop Valley for another search for the White Admiral butterflies. If anything, the conditions were better than on July 17th. It was sunny but a little bit cooler and pleasant. But, again there was no sign and again the Purple Hairstreak butterflies were on the wing. I am now thinking that the Admirals have gone extinct in this spot and only a good search next year will confirm my thoughts. Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Purple Hairstreak were the species noted. A Hornet and a Brown Hawker dragonfly were of note along the road.
A Muntjac Deer was browsing on the grass verge near Lydbrook crossroads. This was an unexpected sighting.
22nd July 2017 – I made a short trip to Cannop Ponds to look again for the White Admirals. The conditions were not the best in cool conditions and a bit blustery. There were some spots sheltered from the wind and the sun did shine some of the time but no target species were seen.
17th July 2017 – I went to the Cannop Valley on a warm day to look for White Admiral butterflies but found none. The conditions seemed to be good but I was wondering if they have emerged early and the season is over or have they gone extinct from this area? I did not check here last year and do not know if any were seen then. I need to try again in a few days time. Unexpectedly, I saw several Purple Hairstreak butterflies in the canopy of the oak trees along the road.
5th July 2017 – I went to Strumble Head in Pembrokeshire for the day. It was hot in Ross-on-Wye and I expected it to be cooler on the coast. This it turned out to be but it was quite foggy with a sea mist all day which just about obscured the lighthouse. The visibility was very poor but I did see a Razorbill which was in the beach bay along the coastal path. A Gannet was on the sea and very close at the Head and a Chough flew past me when I was walking the coastal path. Finally, a flock of Guillemots loomed out of the fog and flew very close to the shore near the observatory.
1st July 2017 – There were several Chiffchaff still singing along the river at Ross-on-Wye this morning and there seems to have been an emergence of Comma butterflies with several seen on bramble along the causeway near Wilton Bridge. The Sand Martins are very busy at their nests on Wilton Bridge.