Friday, 10 June 2011

Flying gems

Again, yesterday, we enjoyed a couple of hours of warm sun on our Walking Festival Butterfly Safari before the dark clouds rolled across the Vale. Grangelands and Pulpit Hill were again our favoured location after a successful orchid walk on Tuesday. It has been a strange year for wildlife with the exceptionally warm spring encouraging plants and insects to perform much earlier but the extremely dry conditions, despite recent rain, really challenging their fortitude. We soon found early butterflies including a Dingy Skipper that really should not be flying now but has enjoyed a good season. Common Blues and Brown Argus were seen in good numbers, flying with Large Skippers, Small Heaths and Meadow Browns. Under Pulpit Hill we saw Speckled Woods but the two highlights were undoubtedly our first Marbled White of the year and, although not seen by all, the first Silver Washed Fritillary of the season. Both these species herald summer itself and are a reminder that Grangelands is a great place for butterflies over the next three months with the spectacular Chalkhill Blue joining the party in July!

Marbled White
Our walk yesterday also revisited the orchids found earlier in the week including the stunning Wasp variety of Bee Orchid, and enjoyed the sight and sounds of the different Warblers that favour this location plus performing Buzzards.

             LAST CALL for the WALKING FESTIVAL            
   11 walks over the weekend, many offering rambles into       the countryside with  local wildlife and history enthusiasts.
 Some places still available. Check the WALKING FESTIVAL    tab above, visit the Information Centre or contact   francisgomme@aol.com

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