Monday, 23 June 2014

Chasing Butterflies!!

It's that time of year again when there's not a lot happening on the birding front - apart from the occasional twitch, and of course ringing a few owls with Paul - so a couple of years ago, my mate Pete Asher got me into butterflies, and on Sunday, Pete and I arranged to go to Glapthorn Cow pastures near Oundle for a new butterfly for both of us - the Black Hairstreak. Arriving at the woodland, the warden was showing people where the butterflies had been 'nectaring' on some dewberries.... and we were in luck, as one Hairstreak was feeding away, oblivious to the people that were looking on. We had been lucky, as the warden told us that the next two or three days these little stunners would no longer be on the wing. There were also lots of Meadow Browns and Large Skippers  feeding on the dewberry and bramble

Black Hairstreak

Black Hairstreak feeding on dewberry

Large Skipper

We also tried for Silver-washed Fritillary at this site, but it came over cloudy, and the rides where the insects were became really shaded, where before, they had been in good sunshine - just the way they like it! .... however, we did see two hornets ( aka wasps on steroids!)  We left Glapthorn and headed for Ketton Quarry, a limestone quarry now with grassland,scrub and woodland. We didn't have long here as I had to be back to pick the Duchess up from work. It wasn't long before we had lots of Marble Whites and Meadow Browns,  I also had another new butterfly - a Small Heath, and Ringlet were also quite numerous. We were hoping for a Dark Green Fritillary, but not this time,  so we will go back again in July, when hopefully they will be on the wing!

Marbled White

Small Heath

Hope you have enjoyed your visit.


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