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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Meadow heaven..Golden ringed Dragonfly and moth lifers galore. Saturday 9th June

I was determined today to catch up with the Pearl Bordered Fritillary species ( Small and Regular ), if the weather would allow. I was seriously worried I was in danger of missing some of the Skippers and Fritillaries this year, so I headed first to the rocket test facillity on the Shropshire side of the Wyre. The Sun barely made an appearance during my circuit,which I started around 10.30am and the breeze  was hardly butterfly friendly. However, on the first ride I connected with my one and only Pearl Bordered Fritillary species of the walk. However I could not discern if it was PBF or SPBF initially ( see post above )
There were plenty of bouncing  as Nemophora degeerella as I made my way around, but I only encountered one other butterfly , albeit a year tick in my first Red Admiral of the year.

 Nemophora degeerella

Birdwise, Balckcaps, Chiffys and Willow Warblers were about, as well as a Garden Warbler.
I then crossed back over the river and headed to the Uncllys area of the Wyre. The birding highlight here was a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers tending a nest. I saw 3 Speckled Yellow moths, but they are lively so and so's and a picture still eludes me.
My final port of call was a meadow area near the brook. As I approached it, around 2pm, there was a hint of sun, and I wandered if I might lucky with a few moths I had had been hoping to see.
On entering the meadow, I narrowly avoided treading on a frog, but immediately saw there was indeed a good emergence of Chimney Sweeper moths..excellent !

Chimney Sweeper Moth

Then a yellow moth caught my eye on the wing but when it settled it was not the expected Speckled yellow, but rather a nice Yellow Shell !

Yellow Shell Moth

Things continued in a good vein with a Burnett Companion showing well before the increasing temperature brought out a the butterflies.

 Small Copper, Common Blue and then a handful of Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries appeared. I was in heaven snapping away as best  could. One even landed on a Spotted Orchid

Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary on Common Spotted Orchid

 I then clocked a Dragonfly sneaking into the meadow, quite large, and settle about 50 yards away. I got a rough fix and circled round to where I thought it was..luckily it was settled near an open area, so I approached with care until I could get a look. In my binoculars I was expecting to see maybe a Club tail, as they enter the forest to mature. However as I studied it I recognised it as a Golden ringed Dragonfly ..what a result ! Fortunately it was totally settled and I managed to get a few snaps, then studied it for a few more minutes before leaving it to enjoy the sunshine. What a bonanza of nature after a slow few hours ! Just goes to show the magic of a bit of sun

Golden ringed Dragonfly..what a beast !!

More pics added regularly on my Flickr


  1. Beautiful photos - the fritillary on the orchid is a cracker!

  2. Thanks Rob, it was a superb little patch of meadow

  3. Love the SPB on the orchid photyo Mark. I think its one of your best shots to date