Thursday, 26 May 2016

Sand Point - Butterflies, Moths & Orchids 26/5/16

Sand Bay and Point is an an area close to where we live and is a beautiful coastal walk.  We spent a wonderful few hours on the 'Butterfly Path' area of the point and we were not disappointed.
The whole point is covered in wildflowers from Daisies to Trefoil and is a beautiful representation on natures 'Chelsea'.  Plenty of butterflies around including Common Blue and Brown argus.  A couple of moths were also seen the Silver Y and Cream Spot Tiger.
Along with the wild flowers we found the first flowering Bee Orchids one of our goals for our walk.
A stunning coastal walk surrounded by a rich tapestry of wild flowers with the added bonus of a warm and sunny blue sky day.

   Thunder thighs - Oil Beetle

                   Sea Campion

   Daisies, grasses etc just wild!

                   Brown Argus

   Brown Argus - good numbers of these little butterflies

                  Sloe Bug

   Natures Chelsea

                   Common Blue - male

   Bee Orchid


                   Beautiful flower

                   Day flying moth on Thrift

   Silver Y Moth

                   Common Blue - female

   Sunny blue skies


Cream spot Tiger Moth

                  Common Centaury

  Brown Argus

                   Brown Argus

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Mendip Hills 24th May - Red Kite, Orchids & Skippers

A sunny blue sky trek took us from Burrington on the Mendips to Charterhouse, Velvet Bottom, Long Wood and back across the fields to Beacon Batch. A mixture of woodland, Heath and field with a good variety of flora and fauna. The woodland areas are now full of Ramsons where the Bluebells have gone over. However there are still good areas of Bluebells in the open field areas their smell intoxicating! The wooded Ramson areas were stunning creating snow like avenues where we walked. Early Purple Orchids are now starting to fade but we still managed to find some good copies here and there.
The surprise of the day had to be seeing a Red Kite as we were walking in Velvet Bottom.  We watched the Kite for some time as it flew overhead and then landed in a field and onto a post to devour its meal.  Never expected that!
 A stunning 7 mile hike that saw 15 species of birds including Skylarks, Redstart, Buzzard, Treecreeper and Linnets and 12 species of butterflies including Peacock, Red Admiral, Lge White, Green V White, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Common Blue, Sml Heath, Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Green Hairstreak and Orange Tip. 

    Red Kite
                   Eating its meal of possible rabbit


                   Pulling its meal apart - look at those talons and beak!

                   Distinctive forked tail

                   Good red colour in the sun

   Early purple Orchids on mass at Ubley Warren


    Looking across the Mendips from Ubley Warren


   Early Purple Orchid

                  Dingy Skipper

   Grizzled Skipper

                   Ramson lined path, Long Wood

                   Turner prize?!!

   Ramson flower - beautiful 

                    Bluebells still going strong in some areas


Shapwick Heath - Dragons and Orchids 23/5

An early start on the Somerset Levels and a walk along the David Walker path & Sweet Track to Decoy hide at Shapwick. This walk takes in a beautiful woodland area full of grasses and ferns leading on to a lovely damp meadow with Southern Marsh Orchids, Iris and Ragged Robin. 
A few species of Dragonfly were on the wing and also perched on leaves etc, brilliant to have some great sightings of the Scarce Chaser.  From Decoy hide we had views of Great Crested Grebes, Marsh Harrier, Cuckoo, Coot and a Mute Swan with just one cygnet.  A pleasant surprise to see a fledgling Tawny Owl on top of one of the Owl boxes.  This is a wonderful walk with plenty of flora & fauna to be seen in an almost Jurassic feel woodland however it is worth noting that the area is rife with mosquitos and the meadow has ticks!
From Shapwick we drove onto Ivythorn Hill an area nearby of undisturbed grassland.  Here we found the first appearance of Common Spotted Orchids, Greater Butterfly plenty of  Twayblade.

    Crane-fly species

                   Ragged Robin in the damp meadow

    Flag Iris 
            Southern Marsh Orchid

   Southern Marsh X Heath Spotted Orchid

                   Southern Marsh Orchid

                   Southern Marsh X Heath Spotted

   Variable Damselfly

                   Large Red Damselfly 

   Scarce Chaser

                   Hairy Dragonfly

   Scarce Chaser

                  Tawny Owl 

    Good to see that the Owl box is being used

                   Scarce Chaser

   Four spotted Chaser

                   Scarce Chaser,  a beauty 

   Common Spotted Orchid

                   Greater Butterfly Orchid

   Greater Butterfly Orchid           

                   Common spotted orchid 


    Common Twayblade