In a short walk from the visitor centre today, I saw 18 species of butterfly and with a bit more luck/time I might have seen 20. This was entirely due to the big patches of fleabane alongside the trail which are proving highly attractive to a wide range of species - well, pretty much anything that likes nectar, as the flowerheads were covered with bumblesbees, honeybees and hoverflies. The highlights for me were several painted ladies, a very fresh brown argus and a couple of clouded yellows.
Wood sandpiper, green sandpiper, ruff, little ringed plover and common sandpiper still present on north brooks today and pectoral sandpiper reported last night.
Migrants come in all shapes and sizes - there were quite a number of silver ys (one of which pictured above) in the moth trap this morning, and a few migrant hawker dragonflies hunting along the treelines on the edge of the heath and black wood. Willow warblers, blackcaps and a spotted flycatcher noted around the trail today. Pectoral sandpiper not reported today up to 16.00, but not sure there were many people searching for it.
Very welcome suprise of the day was a little owl sitting on a post at the bottom of the field in front of the visitor centre - this used to be a regular spot for this species but in recent years has been something between very rare or completely absent.
A marsh harrier spent much of yesterday morning hunting over the south brooks.
After a blank day yesterday, the pectoral sandpiper appeared on the south brooks again this morning - it was distant, but viewable from the viewpoint in the black wood (follow the public right of way south from the car park and after a couple of hundred metres take the pedestrian gate on the right).
In between the showers yesterday, there were plenty butterflies on the wing - clouded yellow, painted lady, small copper, brown argus, meadow brown, gatekeeper, small skipper and common blue were all on the fleabane next the trail.