After all the excitment of butterflies emerging all over the county I had somewhat neglected this site over the last few weeks so I popped in this morning to see what was about. Straight away the amount of Gatekeepers on the wing was very impressive, in fact they were by far the most common butterfly. No Marbled Whites could be found and I can't remember seeing any Small Heath for the matter either. A few Common Blues and a single Brown Argus were flying too. The Gatekeepers were all over the place but the Brambles on the top of the Whitestones area were literally full of them.
After this I popped over to Pitsford Reservoir. I only walked the Scaldwell Bay area but during my brief visit I found the Slavonian Grebe under the far bank. This is the bird that I had seen here a few weeks ago, and is also no doubt the same one that was at Grafham Water earlier in the year. It is now moulting out of its stunning breeding refinery and is starting to look a bit drab which is a shame - not just because of the way it looks but also because its now quite a nightmare to find at a distance. 5 Common Sandpiper and 2 Green Sandpipers were dotted along the shoreline showing that the Autumn migration was now starting to get underway - which seems strange considering that newly emerged butterflies are starting to fly in the woodland. Fresh Speckled Woods and loads of new Red Admirals were dotted along the side of the paths and I find it incredible how one species summer is ending as another species summer is only just beginning. Us as people tend to start celebrating the summer in July and August but for many birds it's all over by then and it's time to head back to the wintering grounds!
Another nice bird currently kicking around Pitsford is the Bar Headed Goose that has been here for a couple of weeks.It's quite obviously an escapee from a collection and a couple of weeks ago a bunch of twitchers I had met didn't even give it a second glance, which I think is a shame - I know it's as "plastic" as they come but he's quite a dapper little fella when you stop to appreciate him.