Monday, 2 June 2014

Rodborough Common - Butterflies galore! 1/6/14

At long last we made it to Rodborough Common on a beautiful sunny day.  We arrived at 9am to sunny blue skies and a few dog walkers.  Skylarks were singing and it didn't take long to see our first butterfly a Brown Argus flit on by.  Wow what a place - a vast area of upland steep slope grassland with a variety of grasses, clover, trefoil etc and orchids.  Quite honestly the place is just simply amazing for anyone looking for butterflies, insects and wildflowers.  The views are pretty breathtaking as well!
We have never seen so many butterflies in one area before - just magical! Our day brought us Brown Argus seen all over the area, Small Blue loads of them and the most numerous butterfly of the day. Common Blue and the stunning Adonis Blue in very good numbers.  Just one battered Green Hairstreak was seen but it is the only one we have seen this year.  A few Speckled Woods in the wooded areas and just one Large Skipper in the long grass. Plenty of Small Heath in the grasses looking quite orange in flight. Surprised to see so many Dingy Skippers still on the wing - great to see them 'perch' on a flower though.  A couple of Large White and also a Small Copper was also seen.  Though we searched and searched we did not locate the Duke of Burgundy.
Quite a few moths were also seen as well as some amazing coloured insects.
3 species of Orchids one of them new to us was a great find amongst the grassy hillsides.  Both the Common Spotted Orchid and the Fragrant Orchid were in huge numbers.  Only a couple of Bee Orchids were found.
We will definitely return to this wonderful area mid summer to see what else this truly magical place has to offer.

Brown Argus on Fragrant Orchid

Rolling hillsides and views from the common

Small Blue - the first I have ever seen, must have been hundreds on the day! Beautiful little butterfly

Adonis Blue - in good numbers here.  We have waited many years to see this stunning blue butterfly.
Adonis Blue

Green Hairstreak - a rather battle worn specimen 

Bug on Fragrant Orchid - unsure of what type of bug but plenty around

Small Blues on dung heap either for moisture or nutrients?

One of the many moth species seen

Common Spotted Orchid - hundreds on the hillside

Orchids, Yellow Rattle, Rock Rose and grasses - wildflower heaven!

Large Skipper - only one seen but looks newly emerged

Fragrant Orchids - a new species for us and plenty growing here and yes it does have a sweet scent.

Bee Orchid - only found 2 plants during our walk

View across the fields

Dingy Skipper - we saw plenty of these across the grassland

Amongst the many Spotted Orchids we found this one white type

Brown Argus pair

Spotted Orchids

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