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. 

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Brockadale further sightings

To add to the Marbled White sightings at Brockadale Nature Reserve we found our first Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) of the year (15), this one a male, indicated by the dark patches on the upperside of the forewing, scent producing scales called androconia.

Also Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) (8) similar to the Gatekeeper but  lacking the double eyespot.

A female Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) on red clover, the lack of a chequered pattern on the upperwing differentiates it from the similar Large Skipper.

We watched a couple of Dark Green Fritillary on the wing, dart restlessly over the grassland. Yellowhammers in the hawthorn treetops provided the soundtrack to our visit.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Brockadale Nature Reserve Marbled White sightings

What better way to get back to blogging than with a trip to Brockadale Nature Reserve for some satisfying views of Marbled Whites.

Sharing a thistle with a 6 Spot Burnet (?) 

and another...

An upperwing view of a Marbled White nectaring on red clover.

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