Saturday, 8 September 2012

North Cave Wetlands (2)

More sightings from North Cave Wetlands, nice to see this Common Blue butterfly as I've seen so few this year.
Although Brown Argus are present at North Cave, I think this is a female Common Blue, with the tip missing from its right forewing. I'd be delighted to hear otherwise though!
This Red Admiral landed on top of the camera and sat for ten seconds or so.
Lots of male Common Darter dragonfly
and a few Brown Hawker, this one perched on nearby vegetation.

Monday, 20 August 2012

North Cave Wetlands

During the weekend we headed east to North Cave Wetlands, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve, where we counted 40+ Peacock along with a couple of Red Admiral nectaring on newly flowering Teasels.

A closer underwing view of the Red Admiral, showing the strong  contrast between the brightly marked forewing and the camouflaged hindwing. Usually it takes a little burst of flash to do justice to the colouring but strong sunshine helped illuminate the wing detail.

All were lovely fresh looking butterflies, with as many as 5 Peacocks per plant.

We saw the majority of Peacocks in this sheltered sunny ditch full of Teasels & Ragwort, bordered by hawthorn hedge,

and this, my first Painted Lady of the year amongst the Teasel.


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Kirkstall Abbey sightings

During a rare moment this weekend when I wasn't glued to the TV, we wandered down to Kirkstall Abbey. There were Small Tortoiseshell butterflies  (8+) in the herb garden opposite Kirkstall Abbey. 3 Brown Hawkers zipped around the garden, and we found one Banded Demoiselle on waterside vegetation by the River Aire. Earlier in the week we walked around Kirkstall Abbey Park at dusk to test a bat detector and found 6 Pipistrelles by the river, very exciting.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Ilkley Moor

On the edges of Ilkley Moor I found my first Small Heath of the year, the diminuitive butterfly featured on the Friends of Ilkley Moor banner graphic .

There was an abundance of Ringlets (30+) amongst the grasses and heather, this one perched obligingly to show off the white wing margin to best effect. And another nectaring on thistle, easily the most popular butterfly on the lower slopes of the moors.

Here's the view from the foot of Ilkley Moor near Wells Road, looking up towards White Wells.

The second most popular butterfly of the day, Small Skippers nectaring on thistles

Monday, 30 July 2012

Letchmire Pastures butterflies

On a breezy walk around Letchmire Pastures, near Allerton Bywater we found lots of basking Gatekeeper in sheltered spots, this one (above) is a female indicated by the absence of the dark branding of the upper forewing, a defining characteristic of the male (below) which is included for comparison.

A male Meadow Brown basking open winged.

This male Gatekeeper on Ragwort has a deformed hindwing, but seemed to get around OK. The single black dot underneath the double eyespot indicates the male. 

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