Monday, 20 July 2015

Catcott Heath - Somerset Levels 19/7/15 Butterflies and Dragonflies

A late morning visit to Catcott Heath reserve.  The cloud had disappeared to reveal blue skies and sun.  We often visit this reserve in the winter months for birds but wanted to return in the summer to see what flowers and other life we would find. In total we saw 14 species of butterflies and at least 5 types of Dragonfly.
The track leading to the reserve is sheltered by brambles etc and this in turn attracted hundreds of Meadow Browns and several Gatekeepers. The reserve itself is brimming with both insects and wild flowers and grasses at the moment and is simply stunning to explore.  In one area of the wood at the end of the boardwalk is a sheltered glade full of bramble flowers. This area was just dancing with butterflies and a couple of Silverwashed Fritillaries whizzed through and only settled for seconds! Surprised as well to see a single Brimstone.  Hawkers and Darters were also present and it was amazing to see a Hawker take a Meadow Brown mid air!  Butterflies seen today were Brimstone, Comma, Small White, Large White, Green Veined White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Tortoishell, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Ringlet, Silver Washed Fritillary and Speckled Wood.
Lots of dragonflies and there were probably more than the 5 types we saw. Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Banded Demoiselle, Black tailed Skimmer and Southern Hawker.
Only a few birds were seen Little Egret, Heron, Cormorant, Buzzard and Little Grebe however it was for the insects and flora why we came and Catcott Heath did not disappoint!

   Yellow Loosestrife 

                   Common Darter 

    Southern Hawker

                   Green Veined White

   Silver Washed Fritillary - would only settle for seconds! 

                  Small Skipper

   Black tailed Skimmer

                   Brown Hawker - great colours and beautiful 'bronze' wings

    Banded Demoiselle - so graceful 

                   Southern Hawker - superb butterfly catcher!

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