Wildlife in my local patch

Hampshire UK

Purple Emperor at Straits Enclosure, Alice Holt Forest

July 12, 2016 by Jackson Hellewell | Comments Off on Purple Emperor at Straits Enclosure, Alice Holt Forest


This Sunday I visited Straits Enclosure in hope of spotting the elusive Purple Emperor. Luckily enough it was sitting in the middle of the path apparently eating some very old fox/dog scat. It stayed there long enough to allow me to take some good photos but then it flew away shortly after I arrived. We watched it floating around in the tops of the oak and hazel surrounding the path. It settled in the tree tops a few times and soaked up the sun for a while. It didn’t come down to the path again for long though.

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It was far bigger than all the other butterflies that were around and seemed to be a much more powerful flyer.

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Before I saw the Purple Emperor there were other great butterflies on the bramble flowers like white admirals, ringlets and commas and along the way there were little frogs and toads crossing the path.

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There were many commas and ringlets flying about. It seems to be a good year for both species.

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I was surprised at how many white admirals there were at straits enclosure; three or four at a time! I had considered them as being quite rare but there seemed to be a few around.

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Small baby frogs and toads were crossing the path whilst we were on it.

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Tawny Owlet in Nesting Box

May 23, 2016 by Jackson Hellewell | Comments Off on Tawny Owlet in Nesting Box

Very exciting news, the tawny owl box that I made with my Grandpa and put up in the woods in January 2015 has tawny owl chicks! I couldn’t have been more happy.

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I only found out so recently because there is no camera inside or outside the box, so when they poked their heads outside it was a great surprise! The chicks downy fluff is very interesting. It is great camouflage for  moss and lichen and other nest materials. This coat of feathers would be moulted for a new set of adult feathers.

tawny-owlet2I have only seen two but there may be more inside as the average brood of a tawny owl is 2-3 eggs. They already seem to be able to climb out of the box and look at the outside world. This will be very useful when it comes time for the owlets to fledge. I’ll post more updates as soon as I can.

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Chiffchaffs officially back in my patch!

April 7, 2016 by Jackson Hellewell | Comments Off on Chiffchaffs officially back in my patch!

Although I have heard 1 or 2 Chiffchaffs a day for the last week or so I don’t call them ‘officially back’ in my local area until I have seen one and heard a lot more per day.  On Saturday I  heard at least 12 when I was on a cycle ride and so I am now officially saying they are back in my patch. chiff-chaff

Also I have seen another summer migrant in and around my local patch, the Swallow!   I have seen a couple now, hopefully more and more will be arriving soon and they will start to nest. They seem to be very early this year,  probably another side effect of the weird winter that we had, the first time I spotted one this year was the 31st of March!

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July 30, 2015
by Jackson Hellewell
Comments Off on Teifi-Marshes Kingfishers and Curlews

Teifi-Marshes Kingfishers and Curlews

In the last two days while on holiday in Wales I have visited Teifi-Marshes nature reserve twice and have enjoyed both visits thoroughly. It’s the home of the Welsh Wildlife Centre near Cardigan. The variety of wildlife is great; it has … Continue reading