Common Swallowtail Papilio machaon
Small White Pieris rapae
Large White Pieris brassicae
Green-veined White Pieris napi
Black-veined White Aporia crataegi
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album
Sloe Hairstreak Satyrium acaciae
Scarce Copper Lycaena virgaureae
Mazarine Blue Cyaniris semiargus
Short-tailed Blue Everes argiades
Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus
Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineolua
Large Skipper Ochlodes venata
Purple Emperor Apatura iris
Lesser Purple Emperor Apatura ilia
Map Butterfly Araschnia levana
Painted Lady Cynthia cardui
Peacock Inachis io
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
Comma Polygonia c-album
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae
False Heath Fritillary Melitaea diamina
Heath Fritillary Mellicta athalia
High Brown Fritillary Fabriciana adippe
Lesser Marbled Fritillary Brenthis ino
Chestnut Heath Coenonympha glycerion
Marbled White Melanargia galathea
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina
Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria
An ad hoc list of everything else to follow when they've been ID'd from the photos
Yesterday's storm hardly seemed to have cleared the air, but the sun was out full strength today - temperatures in the 30s Celsius.
After breakfast we all went to Wysokie again - Jacek and some of his family were mushroom-hunting, Martin wanted to find a track he missed the other day, Bob & I wanted to spend more time around the pond, looking for dragonflies and the elusive marsh warbler.
After the rain, the water level in the pond was several centimetres higher than before. The waterweed was mostly submerged, and now the yellow-bellied toads were much easier to see. So were the newts, which made very brief sorties to the surface for gulps of air. A small grass snake swam around the pond, carrying a toad that looked as though it would be difficult to swallow. The snake disappeared into the vegetation, so we didn't see the outcome. Caitlin, who had rejoined us after seeing the hill her Dad was going up, managed to get it on video with her new camera.
Dragonflies were a little more obliging than before. Two male broad-bodied chasers held territory, with one of them occasionally flying in tandem with a female. This male had a convenient perch near to the boardwalk, though he never stayed more than a few seconds at a time (usually just long enough to get the camera on him and focussed, and if you were lucky, to get a photo). The female was always in the air, either with the male, or zooming around dropping eggs on suitable vegetation. An Emperor dragon zipped back and forth along the margins, which azure blues stayed coupled while the females carefully deposited their eggs.
Butterflies were much in evidence, feeding along the track, or on the flowers. It was the same selection of species as before, but now a Map butterfly performed for the camera too. Green woodpeckers and golden orioles called from the nearby trees, while black woodpeckers called from across the meadows. The woodpeckers usually call before they fly into the open, but must have gone across other fields this time.
After a while we retreated to a hut to escape the sun, and eventually the others returned, the kids with their mouths stained purple from eating bilberries.
In the afternoon we returned to the Nieznajowa valley, where the golden eagles - 3 of them - put on another impressive display, along with buzzards and a sparrowhawk. It's amazing to have them so close instead of miles overhead, and to watch them for long periods too. One of them was carrying a frog around for a while.
More dragonflies here too, with beautiful demoisells, whitel-legged damsels, and later a southern skimmer posing for the cameras. Marbled white and sloe hairstreak added themselves to the butterfly list. yellow-bellied toads now inhabited the puddles along the track.
But it was hot. Very hot. We wandered slowly along the track, and then slowly back. Clouds were building up behind us. A corncrake called from the meadow, and we stopped to record it. Then the rain started. There was barely time to get our waterproofs on and the cameras in their bags before it became torrential. Jacek was waiting with the car at the end of the road, but en route, Martin saw a reptile - we stopped long enough to ascertain it was a slow worm that was probably dead - it could have just been run over, or possibly dropped by an eagle or stork first.
Most of the road back to Polany was hardly wet at all, showing just how localised the rain was - and how we missed the torrential downpour yesterday when Polany was deluged.
The beavers were back to their normal routine for our last session with them. Here are the best of the clips from the whole week.
Martin went off to look for deer, but met a badger instead.
Then it was time to pack, ready for an early morning start for home tomorrow.
Don't know what's happened to the formatting, but it will have to wait a day or two til I find time to sort it.
On our short pre-breakfast walk, we watched the white stork foraging amongst the hayfields again, then fieldfares and mistle thrushes gathering food and feeding chicks. A woodpecker called, and after some careful searching, we found a lesser spotted in a nearby tree. It worked its way amongst the branches for several minutes before flying off.
The intention was to collect the trail cameras this morning, and Pawel turned up on time to take us into the forest. With the threat of thundery showers, and walking uphill in muggy weather, we left the big cameras at the Old School and travelled light.
As the vehicle stopped on the forest track, a large green bush-cricket landed in a nearby bush. I kept my eye on it as I got out, fished around for the small camera in my pocket, and took a few shots. Someone had left a moped just inside the forest, and Pawel was concerned it might be a hunter or poacher, and therefore armed. Fortunately it turned out to be someone collecting mushrooms - a popular pastime here - and therefore harmless.
Having heard corncrake yesterday, we went back in the early morning quiet to try to record them. But all was quiet. Nevertheless, we did watch a honeybuzzard fly across the valley carrying a snake, and a short while late a common buzzard doing the same thing. And then a white stork flew in, landed in a hayfield, and proceeded to stalk around, catching toads and snakes in between the rows of hay.
After breakfast, Martin had arranged for his friend Jacek (who owned the accommodation) to drive us to Huta Polanska, at the end of one of the roads towards the Slovak border. Like many roads towards an international border, this one came to a dead end at another village that had been cleared by the Russians, leaving only the church intact. Around and beyond the church there were haymeadows, and beyond them, woodland. Martin and Caitlin stayed in the shade of the church while Bob & I explored the haymeadows. There were more of the same butterflies that we'd seen before, plus a common lizard and later the tail end of a snake (probably a grass snake) disappearing into the undergrowth.
The more interesting time came after lunch, as we made our way back to Polany. Caitlin had gone ahead, but was stopped by the sight of a dozen butterflies sucking up salts from a pile of dung. The butterflies squabbled for position, often knocking each other away. Every so often a lump of dung would move as a dung beetle tried to heave at it from underneath. High brown fritillary, heath fritillary, lesser marbled fritillary, short-tailed blue, ringlet, comma, red admiral, lesser purple emperor and purple emperor all seen during the the fifteen minutes we were watching.
The dung wasn't quite like anything I'd seen before - too big for dog, wrong consistency for a herbivore - in fact it had hair and bones in it. Martin, having been here before, soon worked out that it was wolf dung - and reasonably fresh.
We added white-letter hairstreak to the butterfly list as we continued back to the Old School House. And Martin managed to photograph a sand lizard later.
Beaver-watching this evening was similar to before - these seem to be creatures of habit. But a kingfisher added a touch of magic to the evening.