Sunday, 19 July 2015


We had a lot of fun in Stevenage Thursday night/Friday morning with a fairly short thunderstorm and heavy rain. I had a lie in as usual and the local radio was reporting serious flooding in the Roebuck area and elsewhere with a van stuck under the railway bridge on Old Knebworth Lane. Judging by some of the containers in the garden we had about an inch of rain and it did not seem to be all that bad driving into work, with just a few puddles and standing water  in some of the underpasses, so it did seem to be rather localised and some areas got off lightly. Having got into work quite late I missed the mopping up operation-apparently water was bubbling up from under the floor (well Stevenage is built on springs) and rain had brought down part of the ceiling in one of the areas round the back. Heard that the van was removed from the bridge around noon, and less than an hour later some dick in another van ignored the warning signs and guess what happened next.

Saturday morning was spent at Amwell. Its been a few weeks since I have been down and I was not expecting much. Apparently there is a Black Bellied whistling Duck around-its rather quiet otherwise with moulting ducks some Lapwings and a few juvenile gulls around. William was the only one present when I got there and we spent most of the morning bug hunting.
According to Barry Small Red Eyed Damselflies are on Tumbling Bay, but we only managed to locate a couple of Red yes, Common Blues and Blue Tails. The only large dragonfly was a Black Tailed Skimmer though on our return we saw a number of Emperors. The Norfolk Hawker has not been reported for a few days now but may still be around though its getting a bit late for them. The Hollycross area was full of blue damselflies in the grass, with a couple of Emperors and Brown Hawkers. Meadow Browns and Skippers were abundant with reasonable numbers of all three whites, a Marbled White and my first Small Copper of the year. We had a quick search for Scarce Chaser and Willow Emeralds but I suspect we are too late for the former and too early for the latter.

Today I went for a walk around Aston End and along the Beane. We had some light rain overnight and it was a bit windy at times but it eventually warmed up and butterflies came out.
Rather pleased with the number of Greenfinches, Yellowhammers and Linnets seen and heard as they do seem to be increasing. However there was no sign of any Corn Buntings-last years birds presumably a one off.
Huge numbers of Large Whites everywhere, and Meadow Browns were just about as abundant as were Skippers once I had reached some Thistle patches. Smaller numbers but still several tens of Small Whites, Green Veined Whites and Gatekeepers, with ten plus Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Ringlets. Two Marbled Whites were a bit of a disappointment as was the  one Common Blue but two Brown Argus was a bonus-another species I have hardly seen this year. The wind made photography a bit of a gamble and mostly it was landscapes but I got a couple of butterflies.

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