Green Hairstreak & Dingy Skipper
Grey Wagtail Breeding
By Station Moor, in July,
I found the nest site and the newly fledged family of Grey Wagtails.
This species is resident all year round but it was delightful to find them breeding locally.
Barn OwlsThe last week of July, heading out to photograph the sunset and I came upon a magnificent Barn Owl. And later, it wasn't only the one Barn Owl, it was a pair! To say, I felt like I was dreaming is an understatement. If this had been the only significant find all year, it would have been worth every second spent on the project.
Painted Lady & Silver-washed Fritillary
Brown Argus Colony
Harvest Mouse jaw bone
If someone had told me at the start of Project 2014 that I’d be treated to up to five different Kingfishers along the Bulbourne; Cuckoos calling through woodlands; Green Hairstreaks and Dingy Skippers; know the thrill of finding a rare moth (Grass Rivulet) and a colony of scarce butterflies (Brown Argus); chance upon a carpet of Bee Orchids; watch Damselflies dancing and Grey Wagtails raising young; come across 26 species of butterfly; have Barn Owls flying over my head; spend a sunny afternoon with a migrant Stonechat, and retrieve a Barn Owl pellet that contained a Harvest Mouse jaw bone, I would have laughed in absolute disbelief! What a year, and all within walking distance of Hemel Hempstead town centre or the village green of Bovingdon! It just goes to show that you don’t need to seek wilderness and solitude for something special from the natural world to cross your path.
For more on the year with Box Moor Trust wildlife, see Boxmoor, naturally...