Thursday, 6 June 2013

Butterflies of Wye and nearby woods

6th June 2013 Warm, sunny and a strong northerly breeze. Today started late morning with a short stroll around the Wye Downs looking for butterflies. The wind was howling across the top of the hills but I managed to find a couple of places which offered some shelter, though it was difficult to avoid it completely. Nevertheless, it was lovely to be out on a sunny day, and I quickly came across a few firsts for the year: Common Blue, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and several Wall butterflies. I spent a bit of time trying to take some pictures, but apart from the Small Heath, which settle down deep in the grass, the wind was blowing too much for photos. There were a few Yellowhammers calling nearby, a Buzzard flew over and a Kestrel seemed quite happy perched on a branch of a tree by the path. To escape the breeze I headed a few miles north to some woods where I spent a few hours enjoying the warmth of the sun, the songs of a few Blackcaps and one or two Garden Warblers, and loads of butterflies. Along the roadside verge where I parked there were Speckled Woods and several Orange-tips flying back and forth, and with a bit of patience I saw a nice female land for a while. Only one dragonfly today, but i didn't really expect many in the woods at this time of year, but a Hairy Dragonfly is always nice to see. There were plenty of Common Blues, Peacocks and Orange-tips on the wing, a few Dingy Skippers and I found 2 rather worn looking Duke of Burgundys; perhaps the last I will see this year. A couple of Crows were heard mobbing a Buzzard, but not many birds were seen.

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