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30 June 2021

Large Heath

Visited Methorp Moss which is a Reserve run by Cumbria WLT.

Plenty to see here, Insects, Plants and Birds, last year I came later in the year and i just saw one of these Butterflies and it wouldn't settle.

This year there was 30+ around the boardwalk but they still wouldn't settle and I got very lucky being in the right place with these!

This form being from Northern England has more spots than its Scottish relative.



30 June 2021

Northern Brown Argus

Visited Latterbarrow Nature Reserve which is run by the Cumbria WLT.

Plenty of Wild Flowers and Butterflies to see here.

Saw several of these which is the "Salmacis" Form of the Northern Brown Argus which lacks the distinctive white marks on the forewing although you can still see a pale area. Did try and get a picture of one with its wings closed as this shows a difference with the Brown Argus but sadly they wouldn't oblige



27 June 2021

Chasing Butterflies

Had a very busy time, visited Somerset, Dorset, Buckinghamshire as well as around Devon. Apart from chasing Butterflies have been looking for a new job, seeing family and friends so it's been a bit full on, so losing myself in a field of flowers and insects has been a joy!

Met some great humans out and about, many doing Butterfly Transits and spent a good half an hour talking to a couple of scientists doing research on the Large Blue, fascinating!

Since my last update I have found 9 new Species for the year and managed to get pictures of all.

So the 9 new ones brings my total to 40, Small Heath, Black Hairstreak, Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Large Skipper, Lulworth Skipper, Small Skipper, Small White, Large White, Marbled White, Green-veined White, Wood White, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Red Admiral, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Large Blue, Silver-studded Blue, Small Blue, Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Glanville Fritillary, High Brown Fritillary, Heath Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Wall Brown, Comma, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Ringlet and Peacock.



26 June 2021

Silver-studded Blue

While in Dorset today I visited Higher Hyde Heath Nature Reserve which is close to Bere Regis.

Its open heath land and great for all sorts of things especially Silver-studded Blue which there were very good numbers.

I managed to get both Male ( pictures on the left ) and Female ( pictures on the right )

For those interested in other things, Lizards and Slow Worms seen, no dought plenty of other Reptiles about the site!



26 June 2021

Marbled White

Several Marbled Whites seen at Alners Gorse today.

Unlike many other of the Butterflies seen today it stayed quite settled, great to see these stunning Butterflies.



26 June 2021

Small Skipper

Went to Alners gorse in Dorset today and found my 5th species of Skipper this year.

Couple seen all looking very fresh and mobile.

My next Skipper will be the Essex which I always struggle with, I see on social media some are already out and some have disagreed with the Id and all alleged experts so what chance have I!



23 June 2021

Ringlet

While walking around Motcombe meadows saw a couple of these Ringlets, another new one for the year.

They didn't settle for very long as the Meadow Browns hassled them all the time.



23 June 2021

Small Tortoiseshell

On the way home I popped into a great reserve in Dorset, Motcombe Meadows.

Lots to see here and great to see these Small Tortoiseshells, good numbers here and all looking fresh.



22 June 2021

Black Hairstreak

Early start to get to Bernwood Meadows which is a LWT reserve in Buckinghamshire.

Arrived at about 9.30am and got to the Blackthorn I had seen them on last year and sure enough there they were and about 8 this year, all trying to find a spot to get the early morning sun.

These stunning Butterflies where great to watch and worth the journey.

Also great to meet some friendly humans too!



19 June 2021

Large Blue

Went up to Somerset today looking for the Large Blue, the forecast was for sunny intervals, it was just grey cloud!

First stop was Collard Hill which is run by the National Trust, apart from it being grey there was a little wind on the hill side and so only one butterfly which was a Meadow Brown, not a Blue of any sort in sight.

Just down the road is green Down Reserve which is managed by the SWT.

Still grey but no wind and a couple of Butterflies flying including this Large Blue, it wouldn't open its wings but I was happy to see one, no matter how it sat!



18 June 2021

Dark Green Fritillary

After a day with family, I popped down to East Sore which was just down the road, parked up and walked to Middle Sore Farm.

While walking I saw a few of these but like before when I saw them at Ashclyst Forest they were not settling. Not until I got to a rape field did I find this one on this Corn Marigold.



17 June 2021

Large Skipper

On a trip to Bindon Hill in Dorset found this Large Skipper.

Only a couple found and all looked quite fresh.



17 June 2021

Lulworth Skipper

On a visit to Bindon Hill in Dorset found loads of Lulworth Skippers.

This little Butterfly was mainly found on the southern side of the hill in the sun and out of the wind, 50+ and very mobile.

Both picture on the left and top right are of females showing the characteristic circle of golden marks.

The picture on the bottom right is of a male were the golden marks are less prominent. There also plenty in between and so seeing these in a certain area of the country helps.

As you can see by the bottom picture on the left.



16 June 2021

Nightjar

Had an amazing experience this week while out looking for Butterflies, walking down a sheep track through the bracken, I was thankfully looking down noticed a Nightjar sat next to the track.

I stopped and backed up a few feet and took this picture then retreated back down the path, it didn't move a muscle.

Stunning markings on it and the first one I've seen in this location.

All details given to the county recorder as normal.



16 June 2021

Chasing Butterflies

Apart from my visit to Cumbria have spent quite a bit of time in Devon in some glorious weather and stunning scenery.

I have visited Aish Tor, Dunsford meadows, Exminster Marshes, Dawlish Warren, Haldon, Ashclyst Forest, Yarner, Trembelbere and Emsworthy Mire.

Have found 3 new ones for this year although the Dark green Fritillaries I saw at Ashclyst Forest wouldn't settle for a picture but iam sure I will get one soon!

So the 3 new ones brings my total to 31, Small Heath, Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Wood White, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Red Admiral, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Blue, Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Glanville Fritillary, High Brown Fritillary, Heath Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Wall Brown, Comma, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Painted Lady and Peacock.



16 June 2021

Cuckoo at Emsworthy Mire

Went to Emsworthy Mire today to look around the pools and swamp areas to see what Dragonflies were about but I never made it past the first field.

I saw a couple of photographers sat on a rock and then noticed they were taking pics of a Cuckoo.

I went to join them and was informed there was 5 Cuckoos around the field and sure enough further down on trees, there they were!

They were flying down to the ground feeding on what looked like beetles but there was many insects on the pasture and they were certainly getting stuck in, there was also at least 3 other birds calling in the next fields.

One of the other guys thought they were feeding up getting ready for the journey to Africa and you couldn't disagree with that.

They flew around us calling which was just a amazing experience as well as being in the company of some great humans as well!



13 June 2021

High Brown fritillary

Visited Aish Tor on Dartmoor, lovely day and very hot!

A few Butterflies about, Lots of Small Heath and a few Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries, Brimstone, Common Blue, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown, loads of small moths and saw this butterfly flying quite strongly above the Bracken, at first I thought it was a Dark Green but as you can see from the picture its a High Brown!



13 June 2021

Stoat

While travelling around Dartmoor looking for stuff I came across a Stoat that was hunting around the road hedge and wall.

Parked up and watched it for about 15 minutes before it disappeared, stunning little animal to watch!

Had a few issues trying to take some pictures because it as ether in full sun or full shade as well as half in half out!



12 June 2021

Wild Flowers at the Warren

On a visit to Dawlish Warren, impressed with all the Wild Flowers especially the Orchids. Southern Marsh and Bee Orchids, the later in a roped off area to protect them.

This time of year is always a colourful time and the Warren is no exception!



12 June 2021

Meadow Brown

Visit to Dawlish Warren, found several Meadow Brown, first of the year for me, as I walked through the grass several fresh Butterflies flying up.



10 June 2021

Quick trip to Cumbria

Decided that I needed a couple of days away and far away from Dawlish, I knew that both Mountain Ringlet and the Northern Brown Argus had come out in Cumbria so decided to go north!

As normal when i go to Cumbria I stay in the Premier Inn at Ulverston which is close to all the places I want to visit.

Only going to be there for 2 nights as I have to be back for late Wednesday so an early start at 4.15am. The journey up with stops should be about six and half hours but because of several accidents it took an extra hour and half. Two serious accidents which were lorry v Car and there was only going to be one winner!

Arrived at Latterbarrow Nature Reserve, which is a stunning little Reserve and where NBA had been seen. it was though a little windy and butterflies of all types where rare, a local said to me he thought the grass was a lot higher than normal making it difficult to see, how true that is Iam not sure. Did see loads of moths and if you are into Micro Moths you would have had a field day!

Plenty of bird song, Warblers everywhere as well as my first of many Cuckoos, saw and heard more here in this couple of days than all year in Devon!

Tuesday was supposed to be sunny all day and planned to go to Irton Fell to see the Mountain Ringlet which only comes out in the sun. Sadly the forecast was wrong and when I arrived at Irton Fell it was clouded over and cold. Pillar, Great Gable and Scarfell Pike was covered in mist but Wast Water was viewable.

No butterflies but plenty of Birds, yet more Cuckoos but also several Ring Ouzel flying between the rock outcrops which was a treat. Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Linnet, Mistle Thrush and Peregrine to name a few which made the trip to the top of the Fell worth while.

I decided to leave the Fell and go to the coast and do some beach combing along the vast beach at Seascale. Lots to see and regretted not going here first, the beach here is vast and the tide line was full of Shells, Crabs, Jelly Fish amongst many other items of debris, Ironically the sun came out and became quite warm, did things the wrong way around, never mind!

The trip home early Wednesday morning was much more routine.

Hopefully back for another visit in a couple of weeks.



06 June 2021

Chasing Butterflies

Thankfully got my car back and was able to expand my search area which included White Sheet Hill in Wiltshire as well as Aish Tor, Dunsford Meadows, Exminster Marshes and Holden in Devon.

Managed 3 new ones for the year, that brings my total to 28, Small Heath, Green Hairstreak, Wall Brown, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Wood White, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Red Admiral, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Blue, Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, Glanville Fritillary, Heath Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Comma, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Painted Lady and Peacock.

Met lots of humans on my travels, Phil, Dave H amongst many old and new faces which has been great especially in some stunning scenery.



05 June 2021

Glanville Fritillary

Normally if you wanted to see this butterfly you would need to take a trip to the Isle of Wight but a few colonies seem to be popping up after some re-wilding, although this one according to some locals has been here for some time.

And here is "White Sheet Hills" in Wiltshire.

My first visit was a couple of days ago and while it was warm and dry thee was no sightings, today was just Sun and very hot at the base of the hill and sure enough there they were, very mobile and at first I didn't think I would get a picture, but with a bit of patience got lucky, saw 4-5 in the end.

Plenty of other Butterflies to see with Painted lady, Marsh Fritillary, Adonis Blue, Grizzled and Dingy Skippers, Small Heath, Small Copper and large White.

A big thank you to Phil for the info.



04 June 2021

Heath Fritillary

Went to Lydford Gorge to the Butterfly Conservation Reserve to see the heath Fritillary.

Saw 5 altogether but early days, another week will see numbers climb!

There are restrictions on parking, if you go make sure you ring up the NT and book a place and remember to show your BC membership card.



02 June 2021

Painted Lady

Went to Aish Tor on Dartmoor looking for Fritillaries and came across this Painted Lady amongst the Bluebells. First of the year for me.

Stunning looking Butterfly!



02 June 2021

Butterflies at Aish Tor

Went to Aish Tor today looking for Fritillaries, must be close to seeing Dark Green and High Brown Frits here.

Had already had both here last year but its all over the place this year.

When I arrived it was a bit grey and overcast but then the sun came out and it was like a switch and Butterflies appeared from everywhere!

Good numbers of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary ( pic on left )and Pearl-boarded Fritillary ( pic on right )and a possible Dark Green Frit that flew by me but not going to bet my mortgage on it!

Also saw some fresh Brimstone's, Small Heath and Green-veined White



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