Monday, 30 June 2014

What the.........?

Peering into the garden pond this morning, I caught sight of what appeared to be transparent caterpillars on the stems of the dwarf water lily.
I turned over one of the leaves to find these on the underside.
Any ideas?

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Lots of colour

Had the opportunity for an hour at East Chevington around midday and while I was hoping for, but failed to see, a Dark Green Fritillary, I did manage to see loads of other colours

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Come in number 26

I had seen sightings recorded for the Small Blue at Workington Wind Farm site over the last few weeks and decided now or never this morning.
Its food source, Kidney Vetch was just about finished, and some were looking a bit worn, but I managed to see about ten of these tiny butterfly to take my butterfly Quest total to 26 so far.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Little Pearls

Following a fantastic tip I went to Sweethope Lough yesterday and was rewarded with sightings of these little crackers to add to my Quest total.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Thick and fast

The butterflies are on the move now and helped my Quest with another two today. During one of the few and short periods of sun there were lots of Common Blue, Wall, Large Skipper and these two all on the wing in quite a small sheltered spot. Magic.

and Meadow Brown

Common Blue

Caught my first sight, for this summer, of a female Common Blue at Weetslade yesterday afternoon.
This one seems to be half way between blue and brown form.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


Watched this bruiser as it patrolled a small pond  as if it owned it at Burdon Moor- probably does

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Northern Brown Argus

Yesterday's Quest effort focussed on Northern Brown Argus and Bishop Middleham quarry.
There were about 20 seen mainly on the higher south facing levels of the quarry.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Despite our trash

A wander around some brownfield sites, adjacent to the river Tyne, brought me some nice sightings.
Saw my first half a dozen, Common Blue in this area, always good to watch.

There were many Common Darter dragonfly lifting from their perches as I walked through the grass

and Four-spotted Chaser

These sites seem to support decent populations of Dingy Skipper although their numbers are generally in decline. Often wonder if the ever reducing numbers of brownfield sites is a factor.
I have noticed that even over say the last half dozen years how a brownfield site has overgrown itself and become a scrub site. There were also Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Small Heath and Large Skipper on the wing.
Dingy Skipper

Never cease to be surprised at the number of Roe Deer in these areas.
A quick look over the river brought sight of half a dozen Oystercatchers probing the mudbanks

 and a pair of Shelduck shielding 13 chicks

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A weekend around Leeds

Last weekend was spent around the Leeds area where we visited Brockadale NR, Fairburn Ings and Golden Acre Park. With a variety of habitats we encountered a variety of wildlife, a few of which are listed below
There were at least eight Brimstone on the wing in one area including this female

and my first sighting this year of a Common Blue

there were several moths which are a bit of a mystery to me

maybe a Chimney Sweeper?

a few Banded Damoiselle

a few sightings of urban foxes. There were 6 cubs in this family

and a troupe of balancing damselfly

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

What a cracker

Today saw me travelling to Cumbria, a few miles west of Carlisle to Finglandrigg Wood NNR.
This is a site where a lot of effort has been put in to improve the lot of the Marsh Fritillary butterfly.
I had seen the records of the first sightings last week so with a decent weather forecast for today, off I went.
Arriving at the appropriate area it was not long before I saw the first and then after midday there were more than 50 in quite a small area.

The hotspot is just a few yards around the bushes on the right and the good news it is clearly waymarked to help find the spot

Monday, 2 June 2014

20 Today

Dont be silly. You have to add half a century to get my age but the sight of half a dozen Red Admiral got my Butterfly Quest total to 20. Thought I had 21 but had counted one twice.