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The search for Fritillaries

June 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The turn in the weather has certainly produced a downturn in the number of Butterflies and Moths being found on the trips to find them, the particular species I was certainly hoping to come across was the Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary. So it was off to the Wyre Forest with high hopes! It wasn't long before the old ticker skipped a beat, A Fritillary floating along the path side vegetation, so it was, stalk, move, stalk, boy they flighty at last a few shots were achieved of upper and lower wings as it fed. My heart sank as the identification confirmed it was the similar Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Don't get me wrong still a stunning butterfly and no mistake. Pearl-Bordered-Fritillary-egg-layingPearl-Bordered-Fritillary-egg-laying

                                                                   Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

The day proved fruitless, but not being put off it was a return avec le bike the next available free day, the conditions started of poor but the forecast was to improve, Bike? oddly enough it was easier to cycle the path with the kit on your back. in reality just swapped sore feet for sore arse cheeks. The day warmed up nicely and again there were Fritillary bobbing along the margins just of the ground. Also a very fresh Broad-bodied Chaser was found basking in a ditch well away from the wind, it would sally forth grab a midge or small fly and return to its perch for its feast. Anyway I digress, back to the Frits, or lack of. As with the previous visit only the Pearl-bordered were found, even though that night, people were reporting them as being seen and photographed, sad face.

Broad-bodied-Chaser-(Teneral-Male)Broad-bodied-Chaser-(Teneral-Male)

                                                                    Broad-bodied Chaser.

So what else was seen/heard ? Well, Brimstone, Small White, Small Heath, Speckled Yellow (moth) birds equalled Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher to name but a few. Well after two days of dipping out on the Small PBF it was decided to go for the Beautiful Marsh Fritillary in deepest darkest Wales at a well documented site for these beauties. You guessed it nada!, nowt!, nothing, well disappointed. However it was not a bust as Orchids were lovely, with other specialist bog plants, brilliant. Especially the locating of the Twayblade a green small colourless orchid amongst the grass so chuffed.

 

Birds nest OrchidBirds nest Orchid

                                          Birds-nest Orchid

Great-Butterfly-Orchid-(Platanthera-chlorantha)Great-Butterfly-Orchid-(Platanthera-chlorantha)

                                                       Great-butterfly Orchid

Twayblade-(Listera-ovata)-FlowersTwayblade-(Listera-ovata)-Flowers

                                                                      Twayblade

 

Violet-HelliborineViolet-Helliborine

                                                              Violet Helleborine

During the following week more Orchids were seen the Birds nest Orchid and a field of over 100 possible hybred Southern marsh and early purple Orchids. What's next? well a bit of time on the cliff tops with hundreds of Gannet and Puffins plus supporting creatures so here is hoping the tent does not leak and the weather stays within acceptable limits.

 

So return for the next update as soon as I can

Paul

 

 

 

 


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