Tuesday, 7 June 2011
After work I strolled over to nearby Kirkstall Hill where I spotted this male Large Skipper feeding on Red Clover, a first for this year, and a super sighting so close to home. Previously I've struggled to distinguish between the Small and Large Skippers but this pic clearly shows the mottled wings of a Large Skipper rather than the cleaner golden wings of a Small Skipper, and the prominent diagonal black mark on the forewing indicates the male of the species.
Kirkstall Hill is adjacent to the busy crossroads of Kirkstall Lane and Morris Lane, and forms a steep south west facing grassland area. The tall growing grasses are dotted with patches of red and white clover, buttercups, common vetch, birdsfoot trefoil, ribwort plantain, dandelion. Despite the discarded cans and bottles, the top path offers a great view towards Kirkstall Abbey and the Aire valley beyond, but I have to admit that this golden winged wonder was the highlight of my evening stroll.