Monday, 18 August 2014

Herepath, Somerset 16/8/14 - Fritillaries, Blues, a Jersey Tiger and the end of Summer

We started out early for our 12 mile trek across some glorious Somerset countryside. Not long into our forest walk a Roe Deer came bounding through the undergrowth across our path.  A little further on we came face to face with a Fox which soon scarpered! 
There is definitely a hint of Autumn in the air, the seasons are changing with the Rowan in full berry and the Hawthorn berries giving a scarlet glow to the hedgerow as well as lovely plump blackberries!  A few fields full of golden wheat but most have now been cut. There are still a nice amount of wild flowers in both field and hedgerow the most abundant being Ragwort, Thistles, Knapweed, Scabious and Hemp Agrimony all a great magnet for insects.  Great evidence of all sorts of Fungi appearing now. 
However the day for us was a warm and sunny one which brought out 10 species of butterflies from lovely fresh Common Blues to Small White, Green Veined White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, S Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Skipper and the highlight for us was the numerous sighting of the Silver Washed Fritillary. It was so good to see so many butterflies but especially the Fritillaries in the sunny woodland glades.
Hawker Dragonflies were seen every where but did not land and Common Darters perched in sunny spots.
Another great sighting for us was the Jersey Tiger Moth a first for us in Somerset.  Birds of note for the day were Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk.  No Yellowhammers seen this time.
What a walk - so many terrains and different environments in 12 miles!

Through the woods - still lush and green


             Jersey Tiger Moth - a first for us in Somerset

Fields of golden corn and wild flower edges


                Thistle - insect magnet

Common Blues on Ragwort


               Common Blue

Common Darter


              Silver Washed Fritillaries - plenty in the sunny glades, what gliders!

Silver Washed Fritillary


             Small Skipper

Silver Washed Fritillary


             Fungi - Autumn is on the way!



               Friend or Foe? Met these cattle on our path - thankfully they were peaceful

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