Sunday, 31 January 2016

snowdrops at Loynton Moss

I have been waiting for some sunshine to visit Loynton Moss again but the days the sun has shone I have been busy and as our last visit was over a month ago and the snowdrops had already started flowering, I just couldn't leave it any longer!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

out on the chase

Yesterday we spent the morning wandering about on Cannock chase.
we walked down to the stepping stones first,

 with cuckoo calling and green woodpecker yaffling, we spotted a green tiger beetle,

and a nesting pair of redstart,

we then walked up onto the heath to look for green hairstreak - we were not disappointed!!!

we also saw a cinnabar moth which just refused to stay still

our first painted lady of the year - unfortunately I had my macro lens on my camera at the time and the painted lady landed quite a way off!

and this oak eggar moth caterpillar

So all in all - not a bad morning

Monday, 4 May 2015

pearl-bordered fritillary

We visited the Wyre forest this morning with the hope of seeing some pearl bordered fritillary butterflies, The last time we visited was a beautiful sunny warm day and it seemed that they were everywhere, the weather forecast last night looked favourable, so we ignored the clouds at home and set off fairly early with trusting the forecast and the sun would be shining and we would see loads!
Well the sun was shining, unfortunately there was also a lot of cloud so we only had brief sunny intervals and when the sun went behind the cloud it was actually fairly chilly. We didn't see any butterflies for at least an hour and we were heading back towards the car park when we saw our first butterfly it didn't stop so no firm id but could have been a skipper, may be! less than a minute later a pearl bordered fritillary drifted past us, I eagerly followed with camera poised... how can butterflies just vanish like that?  hey ho at least we had seen one so we now knew they were about!
It must have been a good ten minutes or so later when this one decided to settle close to us, the problem was there was always a blade of grass or two in the way...

....until it briefly landed on a dandelion

Sunday, 3 May 2015

bluebells and butterflies

At last a free day and a chance to visit Aqualate to look at the bluebells, and the butterflies were about too!
most of the bluebells are the other side of the fence so although I could see butterflies fluttering around the mass of bluebells I couldn't get up close to most.
The first one we saw that settled just about close enough, was this red admiral,

then this peacock came along, somewhat battered and in the shade - but a peacock butterfly nonetheless

there were several orange tip butterflies about, but they were not stopping long enough on any flower, they seemed more interested in chasing each other off, it was while I was following one of these orange-tips when I suddenly spotted my first brimstone of the year
A quick snap of it in flight, just in case it didn't stop

but I needn't of worried
it landed!

We continued walking, the weather forecast was sunshine with showers and as we were almost at the furthest point we got caught in a downpour - we started on our walk back to the car, just as we arrived at the edge of the bluebell wood the sun returned and Mr S spotted this drenched green-veined white drying out so out came the camera again, and another first for this year

then I turned around to see a female orange tip settle - not on a bluebell, but it would do!

well I would have settled for that but then this male decided to land on a bluebell and stay put!

A good day!!!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

A day visit to Newborough, Anglesey

Today we were in need of a good walk on the coast - so a drive to Anglesey was in order and a return visit to Newborough - the car park was almost full by the time we arrived but after walking ten minutes along the forest road you wouldn't have known it, as everyone else seems to head straight for Newborough beach! we walked through part of Newborough Forest until we reached Traeth Penrhos beach -

Traeth Penrhos looking towards Llanddwyn Island

Traeth Penrhos

photographing a few of the shells on the way

We walked along the beach passing the wreck of the 1852 brig Athena

until we reached the marsh where we stopped for our lunch break just after watching our first skylark of 2015 rising up in full song - always a joy!

We then walked back through the Forest to Newborough beach

we then walked along the beach back to the car park

Newbororough beach

Newborough beach looking towards Llanddwyn Island 
photos by Angela Smith -