Turtle returns

Turtle returns

It’s back. I hadn’t seen the West Park turtle since late May, despite visiting the park often. Finally, recently, it was back in one of its favourite spots for basking in the sun. It had been away so long, a coot had decided that the end of the log was a safe spot to build its nest.

Proud heron, West Park

Proud heron, West Park

A West Park heron on one of the highest favoured perches, this time with its neck stretched out, occasionally inclining its head at a slightly differetn angle.

Now, something completely different: blue-tailed damselfly

Now, something completely different: blue-tailed damselfly

My damselfly sightings this year have been very heavily dominated by azure damselflies (often as they were mating). Not as numerous, but still quite abundant, have been banded demoiselles – I haven’t spotted any of the more reclusive and better camouflaged females.

Apart from these, very few individuals from very few species. This blue-tailed damselfly was resting on a leaf at the Compton Park pond mid-month. There’s been no sign of it on visits since.

Summer butterfly: small white

Summer butterfly: small white

Another summer butterfly. Small whites, as here, and large whites seem to be even more abundant than usual this year. Not good news for gardeners. The two species also known as cabbage whites, favouring these and other garden plants for laying their eggs, with hatch into voracious caterpillars.

Summer fungi: chicken of the woods

Summer fungi: chicken of the woods

Clumps of bracket fungi growing on the trunks of deciduous trees, often at around chest or shoulder height, chicken of the woods can sometimes be found on roadside trees. This was in a front garden by the Tettenhall Road.

Summer fungi: chicken of the woods

Flower, great willowherb

Flower, great willowherb

The plants tend to be taller than the more common rosebay willowherb, and more likely to be found specifically in damp spaces. This one one one of the plants in the wildflower area surrounding the Compton Park pool.

Red admiral butterfly, summer generation

Red admiral butterflly, summer generation

Another summer generation butterfly, this one a red admiral attracted to the flowers of a buddleia.

Seen from below: hogweed flower

Seen from below: hogweed flower

Hogweeds this year seem to be growing very tall. Here flowers seen from below.

Seen from below: hogweed flower

Late season duckling, near Aldersley Junction

Late season duckling, near Aldersley Junction

Another glimpse of the July-hatched mallard ducklings on the canals hard by Aldersley Junction. This time they all (young and mother) were swimming right by the bank of the canal, just occasionally visible through gaps in the overhanging vegetation. As far as could be seen, all was well with them. The pictures are all of one duckling which was swimming a little further from the shore than its siblings.

Skipper on a rush leaf

Skipper on a rush leaf

Skipper butterfly resting on the leaf of a bulrush in the pool at Compton Park. It was too far away to identify which species of skipper – to do that, it’s necessary to get a view of details like the underside of the antennae.

Young blackbird sunbathing, canal footpath

Young blackbird sunbathing, canal footpath

A sweltering early afternoon. Very few people about on the canal towpath. A young blackbird, taking the opportunity to use the path to sunbathe on.

Small tortoiseshell butterfly, summer generation

Small tortoiseshell butterfly, summer generation

Another butterfly where the summer generation has coincided with the mid-July heatwave, a small tortoiseshell.