Here I was again but this time I was holidaying in nearby Whitby and with the family returning mid-week due to hospital appointments I found myself with a couple of days to spare, so I spent the time in the Fen Bog area. The weather was better than the last time I visit and the wildlife over the few days was better with some new species and some targets missed, which will be saved till next year.
There were good numbers of Narrow bordered 5 Spot Burnet Moths about this time, Swallows and House Martins, Black headed and Herring Gulls, a Kestrel, I also happened to disturb a Nightjar, which was soon up and back down again into cover. There were plenty of Ringlet Butterflies along with Meadow Brown Butterfly, Small and Large Skipper Butterfly, Common Blue Butterfly and lots of Small Heath Butterflies, and a new species for me Dark green Fritillary Butterfly, which was really hard to pin down I really given up trying to get a decent photo of one when I stumbled across one going back to the car, but no under-wing shots, well you can’t have everything.
On the dragonfly front I only managed to catch sight of Common Darter and Golden Ringed Dragonfly, but the best surprise for me was seeing my first Green Tiger Beetle, now these little beauties are really quick on their legs and it was hard to find one that was still enough for a decent photo, I really enjoyed watching these. Another find was the large fly called a Tachina grossa (see on my flickr photostream…a real beauty)
Things I missed which will mean a return trip next year were Keeled Skimmer and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Golden Ringed Dragonfly
Green Tiger Beetle
Dark Green Fritillary
Here’s a couple of new nature reserve’s for me, Ben Rhydding Nature Reserve this ones near Ilkey and the Fen Bog Nature Reserve this ones up on the North Yorkshire Moors (Nr Whitby) both being good for Butterflies as well as other wildlfe.
Ben Rhydding was to be the first port of call in the morning sun and produced some excellent butterflies Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet however the quarry we had come to look for did take some finding, we were looking around all the elm trees to no avail but were found feeding at eye level on thistles the White letter Hairstreak, we enjoyed for a while filling or boots with photos and excellent views of a butterfly that feeds mainly high in trees
White letter Hairstreak
It was then onward to the North York Moors in the vain hope of more butterfly species, we completely failed at Fen Bog probably now due to the overcast weather, so after lunch moved on to a place in wheeldale near a stream and ponds. We had better success here with 3 Common Crossbills, Chiffchaff, Swallows and Kestrel, butterflies on sight were Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Speckled Wood and it was here we got sight of a Golden ringed Dragonfly
Todays trip was down to Fermyn Woods to have an audience with His Imperial Majesty (Purple Emperor Butterfly) it would be a 2 1/2 hour drive with a pick up stop at Doncaster on route , we were of at 6am and hit the parking stop on sight for about 8:40am.
We were soon in the woods picking things up like Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Speckled Woods on route to the favoured Purple Emperor sights. We stopped off at one of my favoured sunny glades where we saw White Admiral, Large White, Large Skipper, and a Purple Emperor (H.I.M) , it was whilst a few of us were enjoying the Emperor that a White letter Hairstreak showed up alas all but briefly but I did manage a very poor photo of it as it went to ground in the long grass and hid.
We explored further into the woods stopping at various sunny glades enjoining the many butterflies stopping off at various bushes, we had wonderful views of many Emperors and White admirals during the course of the day, seen easily and very close as they came to ground on the woodland footpaths. Silver Washed Fritillary were also seen but on this visit all but briefly and high up. Commas, Small tortoiseshell were also seen and rumours of a Painted Lady.
We then decided on a new site on route North again at a place in Barnack called Hill and Holes where there is to be found the Chalkhill Hill Blue Butterfly….we didn’t find any on this occasion but I think we were a bit to early, however there were many Marbled White Butterflies to enjoy.
Our last stop was at the bridge on the Rutland Water Reservoir where we could see Osprey, Black tailed Godwit, Common Tern, Mallards, Egyptian Goose, Green Sandpipers, Coots, Moorhen, Swift, Swallows, Sand Martins and a fly thru Little Egret…great ending to a wonderful day
A quick visit out to the Bulcliffe colliery Sight to see if I could find any surprises to-day in the heat wave we were having at present.
There was a good number of Silver Y moths about long with a great number of Ringlet and Meadow Brown Butterflies on the wing, Common Buzzards overhead with Yellowhammer, Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroat singing from the bushes added to the wonderful stroll I was having around this small nature reserve, Small Heath, Common Blue, Large Skippers and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies added to my short visit
Small Heath Butterfly
Hairy Shield Bug