Contribute to the BathNats Lockdown Log for June

While field trips are suspended do share any sightings of interest within the BathNats area. Use the contact form and if you have any photos to share ask on the form for a direct email link to submit them.  And don’t miss our lockdown log for the previous months.

We are all learning to appreciate even more the natural history in our own  gardens, like the large red damslefly photographed by John Garrett, above.

Look what the cat brought in

Treasurer John Garrett reports: A neighbour heard a thud against her window while in the garden. It was obviously a bird and her cat immediately picked it up. She managed to rescue it and brought it to me for advice. It was not hurt in but just a little stunned so we took it outside. She held it in her open hand and after a few minutes it flew off to wards Grosvenor Bridge, in central Bath.

Stunned young kingfisher recovering from a crash and an encounter with a cat, Bath 3 June 2020 © John Garrett

Immature male Scarce Chaser, Bushy Norwood, 7 June 2020 © Lucy Starling

Pyramidal Orchid, Bushy Norwood, 7 June 2020 © Lucy Starling

Lucy Starling walked around Bushy Norwood and Bathampton Down on Sunday morning, 7 June. She reports an Immature male Scarce Chaser dragonfly as the highlight highlight of a pleasant walk, found in bottom field in Bushy Norwood OS Map 155 GR 781643. A few Pyramidal Orchids among Yellow Rattle and other plants. Many Meadow Brown and a few Marbled White but not a single Ringlet.

David Goode photographed this Blue tit in his garden. It shows an odd abberration. Apparently there have been a few reported recently in the UK

Blue tit after a bath in the garden © David Goode

Lucy Starling reports: On 8 June, I found a male Broad Bodied Chaser dragonfly at the large pond located at Bath University where there was also a Swallow frequently swopping low to take a drink. Female Mallard and ducklings was attracting most attention from the very few people there.

I found my first Small Skipper butterfly of 2020 on the golf course nearby.

Large pond at Bath University © Lucy Starling

At about 2pm near the stone stile above Quarry Road (off North Road near the University,) I heard a sharp loud “chip chip” call of a Common Crossbill . Luckily the bird was flying towards me and turned so I could see its distinctive bill. A complete surprise and unexpected encounter. OS Map 155 GR 768645.

9 June on Batheaston circular walk, along riverside below and due west of Bathford, x 1 male Scarce Chaser (no copulation marks on abdomen) x 2 female Scarce Chaser, Male Emperor, Large Red, Blue-Tailed and numerous White-Legged Damselflies and Banded Demoiselles


 Also of interest, reasonable numbers of Small Tortoiseshell and my first Scarlet Tiger moth of 2020. Sand and House Martins swooping down to drink. A rewarding 15 minutes in this spot during a pleasant 3 hours out.

Sedge Warbler x 2 still near Batheaston and singing vigorously along with Common Whitethroat.

Sedge warbler at wet field ditch near Grosvenor, 10 June 2020 © John Garrett

On June 16 Alice Nissen reported: Yesterday our daughter disturbed a tawny owl on steps beside our house off upper Lansdown Rd. The steps have a very shrubby canopy and it was 3pm. It flew up the steps to our end-of-cul-de-sac road and the dense woodland opposite, and she heard her partner shout ‘Oh my goodness, an owl!’ It had swooped over his head.

Lucy Starling reports on 20 June:
On my Batheaston/Bathampton riverside circular walk 10.30am to 12. 45pm highlights were

A fresh looking Red Admiral, several Small Tortoiseshell and Comma, numerous Meadow Brown and a couple of Ringlet.

Two male Scarce Chaser on riverside vegetation below Bathford where one male seen on 9th June. One of the males had computation marks on its abdomen. Lots of White-legged Damselflies and also hundreds of grasshoppers.

Found patch of Rock Rose near hedgerow boundary of New Leaf Farm near the pylon.

Red Kite watched for some 15 minutes circling over New Leaf Farm about 12 noon and joined by a Kestrel making alarm calls. A Green Woodpecker flew low across the field only a few feet away from me.

Pair of Sedge Warbler in bottom of thorny rose bush in wet ditch near Grosvenor. Male sang very briefly.

Roesel’s Bush Cricket , Bath Golf Course 22 June © John Rawles


Field Grasshopper purple form © John Rawles

Black Tailed Skimmer male Bath University pond © John Rawles

Lucy Starling, Clare Herbert and John Rawles visited Bathampton Down and Bath University on 22 June. Here’s Lucy’s report.

Over a thoroughly enjoyable walk through limestone grassland/woodland edges of about 4.5 hours highlights were:

  • x 2 Common Crossbill calling in flight over Bath Golf Course about 10.50am.
  • Roesel’s Bush Crickets in long grass/bramble edges of footpath alongside golf course (University side)
  • Field Grasshopper (purple form)
    A worn male Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonfly at Bath University pond.
  • A Silver Washed Fritillary butterfly, which did not settle, flying over bramble flowers near Sham Castle
  • Abundant numbers of Meadow Brown butterflies, a few Ringlet, Large and Small Skippers and Marbled White.

Marbled white © John Rawles

Large Skipper © John Rawles

Small Skipper on Common Knapweed 22 June 2020 © John Rawles

Lucy Starling reported on 25 June:
I was on the golf course and walked shaded path between university buildings and course  early morning, and saw a silver washed fritillary settled for a few seconds on bramble, which was great, and found a spotted flycatcher male singing near the wooden gate into woods on the edge of Bathampton Warren. Way back in early Spring, I found my first one in that patch and I hope to see a spotted flycatcher family soon up there.

On 26 June Lucy repported:  I had the joy of being in Prior Park National Trust Gardens, as did other volunteers and staff, on an Open Day before the park re-opens to members on 29 June.

At 10.20 am, alone in the meadow, I saw a Muntjac Deer wandering through the long grass and then away into deeper cover of trees. The meadow was glorious, many spikes of Pyramidal Orchid. I also watched a male Bullfinch having a drink by the Cascade. A lovely 60 minutes in this beautiful place.

Prior Park Meadow 26 June 2020 © Lucy Starling

Prior Park Gardens Meadow 26 June 2020.© Lucy Starling

Prior Park Gardens view 26 June 2020 © Lucy Starling