Once again woodland birds were on the agenda the highlights being 9 Hawfinches, Marsh Tits, and Crested Tits (including a individual that I caught in the act of foraging around a deciduous tree!). Firecrests were once again a welcome sight among the conifers.
A walk around the nearby crater lake (Meerfelder Maar) was certainly worth the effort as not only were 3 Clouded Yellows on the wing but I was lucky enough to get a brief encounter with a PURPLE EMPEROR that came gliding over the poplars and landed in a nearby tree! I fired off a couple record shots to help separate it from Lesser Purple Emperor and after leafing through the books I’m certain of the ID!
my first ever Purple Emperor!!!
Other butterflies included Purple Hairstreak, Silver-washed Fritillary in the surrounding woodland and yet another Silver-washed Fritillary back home in my grandmas garden! The family of nesting Black Redstarts had also raised at least one fledgling!
female Black Redstart
I was still keen to connect with the juvenile RB Shrike up the road but yet again the hours visit didn't reward as I had planned. The reappearance of the Turtle Dove was promising and a Fox prowled around the field and just as I gave up the search a stunning Honey Buzzard flew west through the valley, an awesome end to the day!