Sunday, 3 May 2015

Crook Peak & Kings Wood - Mendips - 21/4/15 Wheatears, Orchids and Skippers

An early start for the climb up to Crook Peak in the hope of seeing some Ring Ouzels. A beautiful sunny day with a strong breeze and some amazing views across to the Somerset Levels but unfortunately no Ouzels to be seen. Still some good numbers of Wheatear, Meadow Pipit and Stonechats. The occasional overhead Raven and Buzzard both seen and heard across the high ground. The walk through Kings wood was amazing all the Spring flowers bursting into life Bluebells, Wood Anemones, Cuckoo flower, Ramsons and still a few Primroses, what a sight to lift the spirits!  Nuthatches were calling throughout the wood as well as Blackcaps etc. Not too many butterflies in the wood just a few Green Veined Whites. Towards the end of the wood we found a good patch of our first Early Purple Orchids of the year - just stunning!
Our first Grizzled Skippers of the year were spotted on the 'butterfly' trail not far from the trig point heading back towards the Peak. A bit further on on the lower slopes of the peak at 'butterfly alley' we found Brimstone, Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Small Whites.  Can't wait for the next sunny day!

Wheatear- great colours and typical pose on a Mendip wall

                 Stonechat (female) good numbers around Crook Peak

The path leads on .... Into the magical Spring wood!

                   Toothwort - a parasitic plant that feeds off the roots of Hazel etc

Kings Wood - springing to life!       

                     The Kings Wood 'special'!

    Early Purple Orchid - a fine specimen 

                    Early Purple Orchids

   Grizzled Skipper ovipositing 

                   Grizzled Skipper

Meadow Pipit         

                   Unknown moth

Dingy Skipper

                    Dingy Skipper typical pose

Grizzled Skipper - great to see the beautiful underwing

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