Frampton Marsh

A new place for me this being a first time visit to RSPB Frampton Marsh situated out near the Wash on the  Lincolnshire coast it took about 2hr 30mins to get there from home but we arrived in glorious sunshine, windy but nice.

After a break, coffee and sarnies, we dropped into the visitor centre first to say hello and to look at the site maps before setting off on site towards the 360 hide.Our first was with a Painted Lady Butterfly, which would be first of a few seen today. It wasn’t long before we arrived at the hide and settled in, looking gout over the pools we found Black tailed Godwits (numerous), Ruff, Redshank, Dunlin, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank, Common Snipe, Little Egret (c14), Pied Wagtails skipping along the pool shoreline.

We moved off seeing very little at this time of year the wind was strong but we saw a few large White Butterflies long with a Red Admiral, and Meadow Browns.

We eventually found a sheltered spot well out of the wind where Large Whites were numerous, Hawker dragonflies were evident but never settled, but there were plenty of Ruddy darter Dragonflies which were settling and it was a great time spending time with these, and a Reed Warbler was seen around by the pond

It was quiet today but we were told to return in winter when the birds would be numerous an offer not to be refused

 

Ruddy Darter

Ruddy Darter

 

Ruff

Ruff

 

Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

Lulworth Cove

Family business saw me down on the Dorset coastline around the Lulworth area, stopping in Weymouth, so I had to have  a play day in the Lulworth Cove area for the butterfly of the same name.

The weather was in our favour a hot sunny day but lots of people decided on visiting the area also but i need not have worried its a big place. We headed down into the cove and up on to the right hand hillside where we saw plenty of Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet Butterflies, but it took a while before the Lulworth Skipper showed up, but when it did good views were had. This Skipper is only found along this coastline from Weymouth to Swanage and for about a couple of miles inland, so if you want to see one down here is the only place, try also the Portland Quarrys and Durlston CP. A little bit smaller than the Small Skipper, the female has distinctive wing markings unlike the Male which can be more difficult to separate if seen without the female

Lulworth Skipper, Female with the distinctive wing marking

Lulworth Skipper at Lulworth Cove

Salcey Forest

Down to Salcey Forest this week for the Northants Butterfly Conservation walk, we knew before the day that we would be struggling for Purple Emperor and we were right , things seem to be a couple of week behind this year or is this becoming the norm? However we were hoping.

We met in the Horsebox car park, this one is free where as the visitor centre is not, the meeting time was 10:30am and when all had gathered (35) we were off, out of the car park, not towards the main road.

Soon we were picking up Ringlets, these seem to be having a good year, White Admiral was shouted by one of the group and we all got to have good views although little bit distant but it was afresh individual and was settled. Comma was seen next giving us us the hope it might be a Silver washed Fritillary before it settled to give good views. Wood Whites were next on offer along with Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell.

On our walk around we were also picking up other widlife as we went along Southern Hawker and Broad Bodied Chaser Dragonflies. Coming eventually across a pond, no dragonflies here but we did find a Slow worm and a few Common Lizards. Once again on the walk a few of my favourite beetles were found, the longhorns, 3 species today, the Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn, Rutpela maculata, and Rhagium mordax.

Back to the butterflies, we eventually arrived at the meadow were we found Marbled Whites, Large Skippers, Common Blue and a Painted Lady. 

A great day unfortunately no Purple Emperors, White letter or Black Hairstreaks were found whilst we were on the walk,  Black Hairstreak was after we left for the Norfolk coast and the chase of a Great Knot

We left Salcey at about 2pm and arrived at Titchwell RSPB reserve at about 4:30pm, Titchwell being the last reported place for the Great Knot.

We soon got the news that a Peregrine had disturbed the Knot flock along with the Great Knot and hadn’t been seen since 1:30pm. Not to be discouraged we worked or way thru the Knot flock, sitting in the Parrinder Hide, but alas it wasn’t there, but we looked upon Avocet, Bar tailed and Black tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Common Tern, Pied Wagtails, distant Common Buzzrad along with a Marsh Harrier.

We decided on a walk down to the sea catching Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Linnets, on the way down on the beach Common Scoter out at sea, Sandwich and Little Terns overhead. 7:30pm came we decided on leaving and on leaving the car park at 7:45pm the pager went Great Knot seen at Holme next the Sea with directions, it had to be done has we were passing we couldn’t leave it could we, by  8:15pm we were looking at my first Great Knot, now thats how to end a day out

Day List Salcey Forest

Comma, Wood White, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, White Admiral Ringlet, Marbled White, Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue, Painted Lady, Buzzard, Goldcrest, Red Kite, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Broad Bodied Chaser, Southern Hawker

Day List Titchwell

Red Admiral, Avocet, Greylag Goose, Pied Wagtail, Moorhen, Black headed Gull, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Black tailed Godwit, Knot, Dunlin, Shelduck, Common Tern, Shoveler, Coot, Woodpigeon, Buzzard, Redshank, Reed Warbler, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Swallow, Sedge Warbler, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Cormorant, Common Scoter

Rhagium mordax Longhorn Beetle

Rhagium mordax....Longhorn

Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

White Admiral

White Admiral Butterfly

Avocet

Avocet

Silver Studded Blue

Prees Heath was the destination for this weeks target Butterfly, a place I’ve never been and is supposed to be a hot spot for the target species. I arrived at about 11:30am after doing a couple of jobs at home the weather looked good on the travels but began to look dodgy on approach, I needn’t have worried.

I hit the reserve after having some refreshments to the sound of Yellowhammers and a Great spotted Woodpecker flying overhead. I got talking to a fella who gave me the locality of lots and lots of Common Blue Butterflies and that he had actually found one Silver Studded. I found the place he was talking about to find lots and lots of Silver Studded Blues and not one Common Blue. Other butterflies here were a few Small Heath, a Small Tortoiseshell, and a Yellow Shell Moth

I spent the time 3 hours in total with the Silver Studded Blue taking photos

So if you want to see Silver Studded Blue Butterflies Prees Heath in Shorpshire  is a place to go

Silver Studded BlueSilver Studded Blue Male

Silver Studded Blue Female

Silver Studded Blue Female

Silver Studded Blue Male

Black Hairstreak

In search of the elusive and enigmatic butterfly which is restricted to about 50 colonies in the country and today I was visiting one of those colonies at Glapthorn Cow Pastures in Northamptonshire which is also a good place for Nightingale

I arrived at about 1:30pm (afternoon being the better time to see them) got tooled up and moved into the reserve. I didn’t expect it to be so easy to see them after all the reports I’ve read about how difficult they can be to come down from the canopy, within a minute of entering the reserve I found one feeding on Blackthorn along with a Meadow Brown and a Large Skipper after taking a couple of pics and then nattering to someone I knew I moved on to the “traditional hot spot” for them , and you wont be disappointed, today there was about 6 Black Hairstreaks coming down to feed giving excellent photo opputunities

On then to a familiar reserve Tywell Hills and Dales were I was hoping to get Marbled White, after stopping off at Bedford Perlieus but rain stopped play there. Tywell I got to see Marbled White, Small Heath, Common Blue Butterflies and a Cinnabar Moth

Birds for the day Glapthorn…Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Chiffchaff and Chaffinch

Tywell Hills…Red Kite, Yellowhammer, Common Whitethroat

 

Black Hairstreak Butterfly

Black Hairstreak Butterfly

Marbled White

Marbled White

Bullcliffe Top Wood

Decided on a quick visit to Bullcliffe Reserve since the sun was shining and the days are now longer. Willow Warblers were around so was a Kestrel and Common Buzzards high and riding the thermals, but I was here for butterflies and Small Heaths were now in abundance along with a few Dingy Skippers, a few Orange tip.

Damselfly were seen but at a distance and plenty of Green Sheildbugs

Small Heath

Small Heath Butterfly

Warton Crag

Here we are again don’t seem two minutes since I was here looking at my first Green Hairstreaks and Pearl bordered Fritillary and climbing that hill.

Parking the car in the small car park, near to the Old School Brewery, which today was shut😦, I was soon for the set off but a Large White Butterfly was taking my attention has I was leaving. I made the climb, that got the old heart going again, it was worth it has you look out over the Morecambe Bay looking down towards Blackpool, brilliant views

Anyway on to the crag very little flying only Brimstone has I made it to the far end of the crag. I decided on going down lower to where it seemed things were more sheltered. It wasn’t long before the hunch paid off, Small Heath Butterflies were numerous, the males doing mid-air battles. There was also a few very worn Green Hairstreaks about and still guarding territory, Dingy Skippers were also still in good numbers along various parts of the crag. Large Skippers were now flying and I  found a few along the crag seeing off anything that came near including Small Pearl bordered Fritillary. Brown Argus Butterflies are also out now and the crag held a few today giving good photo opportunities.

A couple of moth species were seen including Mint Moths and Brown silver line

Brown Argus

Brown Argus Butterfly

Large Skipper

Large Skipper Butterfly