Tag Archives: butterflies

Under The Railway Bridge.

I have been noticing lately how lovely a local field is looking. All-sorts of flowers have been popping up this year. Makes me wonder if someone has been scattering seeds? The plants have been absolutely buzzing with bees and grasshoppers. Meadow Brown’s , Ringlets and Skippers are flying in abundance. I’m eager to see what else will turn up over the Summer. Will keep you posted. 😘

There could be more clover than grass in the field and they smell really sweet, especially in the sunshine after a shower.

Pops of colour are certainly provided by the burnt orange blooms of the Orange Hawkweed, which is also known as Devils Paintbrush and Fox & Cubs.

I think this is a member of the Crane’s -bill family , maybe Druce’s Cranes-Bill.

Tutsan is the largest of the St John’s Wort flowering plants. I was quite surprised to find it amongst the vegetation. I like how there are both flowers and berries.

I noticed a couple of Silver Y Moths fluttering around the thistles. They are migrant moths that fly day and night and can be identified by the metallic y on each wing.

Love-in-a-mist is not a wildflower, so I’m not sure how this bloom ended up here. I love it’s delicate and intricate design.

By the brook a Yarrow peeps , it’s leaves are feathery. In the past this plant was used on bloody wounds, but sticking it up your nose causes nosebleeds apparently. πŸ™„

Skippers are seen resting on buttercups and darting from flower to flower. They are tiny butterflies, however I cannot tell whether they are the large or small species.

In the grass I spy Fairy Flax which looks like it should be in a fairies garden.

Along with ringlets there are lots of Meadow Browns in the field. They are very fond of the thistles. πŸ™‚

So that’s all for now. There are foxgloves and teasel but I will save them for another post. πŸ™‚

The Elusive Bee Orchid.

Yesterday in the scorching heat we found the elusive Bee Orchid! This one was in Cross Hill Quarry Nature Reserve in Clitheroe, which can be accessed through Brungerley park. A kind member of a local wildlife group offered to show my sister, her kids and I where it was. 😊

There are over fifty species of orchid in the UK and all are protected. Although there are much rarer orchids ,the Bee Orchid is particularly striking I think. It’s flowers resemble the insect and amerous bees can transfer pollen to them, mistaking them for another 🐝 bee.

There were plenty of insects out in the late afternoon heat yesterday. We saw lots of butterflies including meadow brown’s, skippers, ringlets, common blues, tortoishell s, red admirals, whites and comma all fluttering around the quarry.

One of many many large skipper butterflies.
An unassuming orchid found all over the quarry is the Common Twayblade. I did not even realise that these are orchids.
A beautiful Marsh Orchid.
My niece got this picture of a cute new moth ( to us) , the Latticed Heath Moth.
The only Bee Orchid ( as yet) in the reserve has three flowers.
Bee Orchid.
My niece and Yellow Loosestrife flowers.
Heron intent on tea.

As you can imagine, wandering round a quarry in the heat made us all want to dive in the river, which luckily was close by. We all went for a paddle to cool off and the above heron wasn’t bothered by our presence at all.

Have you seen any orchids this year?

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve ~ June.

So I returned as promised to Salthill Nature Reserve in Clitheroe to look for the elusive Bee Orchid. There was a photo of one on a local wildlife group, but could I find it? Well nope! However there was still plenty to see and it was nice to wander round the reserve.

There were lots of Speckled Woods in the woodland areas.
And scented Dog Roses adorned the pathways.
The poisonous Cuckoo Pints green berry stalks cover the woodland floor.
The Common Blues looked vividly blue.
Honey scented flowers of Agrimony were once added to mead.
This rabbit sat and watched me from a woodland clearing.
A new wild flower sighting for me ~ Round leaved Wintergreen. The leaves remain evergreen through winter.
I saw a few Brown Ringlets.
Common spotted orchid.

I snuck into a gated off meadow which might not have been part of the reserve. Whoops! There were vast amounts of ox-eye daisies in there which were buzzing with bees and small dragonflies.

Daisy fest. 🌼
Small tortoishell on daisy.
And on bramble blossom.
Red Clover. This one looks particularly vibrant.
I didn’t have a clue what this was! I thought it may be some rarity, but then someone told me it was a cowslip gone to seed. 😜
Small tortoishell on wild thyme.
Cinnabar Moth.
I always get my Cinnabar’s and Six spotted Burnet’s mixed up. I should just count the spots. 😊

So despite not coming across the bee orchid, it was a successful visit. Have you visited a nature reserve recently?

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve ~ May.

By midday today it was scorching hot. I had taken our labrador for a riverside walk early morning ( saw my first dragonfly of the year) and then decided to head out somewhere unaccompanied. I love Hugo but he gets a little impatient when I become distracted by butterflies. πŸ™‚

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve is one of two nature reserves in my home town. A mixture of limestone grassland and shady woodland, the reserve is a haven for wild flowers and birds such as black caps and bullfinches. Which I never see ! Haha. Today my nemesis bird ( a gloriously colourful jay) posed for several photographs, promptly flying off cackling before I could get him into focus.

I enjoyed my walk and intend to post a blog in June, when hopefully the bee orchids will be in flower. For now, enjoy these photos. 😘

Hawthorn.
Yellow poppies.
Blue sky.
Cowslips.

Clock.
Small white.
Germander Speedwell.
Robin red breast.
Birds Foot Trefoil aka Bacon & Eggs.
Dog Rose.
Small white.
Wood Aven.
Bugles and Herb Robert.
Bluetit flying in and out of a nesting box.
Crinoid bench.
Milkwort.
Wild Strawberry.
Common Blue.
Chiffchaff.
Common Blue on Buttercup.

I hope I have identified the above correctly, please let me know if I have mixed up my common blues with my holly blues. πŸ˜…

Wildlife Moments In 2019.

For me 2019 has been very much about experiencing wildlife with others. It’s the first year I have watched badgers go about their business from a guided RSPB badger hide and the first time I have been on a bat walk run by the Rivers Trust. I’ve also looked for ring ouzels in the Slaidburn fells with the RSPB and done this year’s bird and butterfly counts with my nephew, niece and sister. Family has joined me in all the above and it has been a joy watching wildlife with them. πŸ™‚

Sometimes I can be out and about with Wil and the dog and we will spy something special. Recently we saw a red squirrel at NT Acorn Bank, I have been hoping to see one since buying our caravan in Cumbria this year.

There have been a few rare moments when I’ve been completely alone and immersed myself in nature. Just spending three hours in the woodland near my Mum’s in Askham back in May was such a treat, I saw jays, woodpeckers, buzzards, a weasel and wildflowers galore.

In 2019 I witnessed my first badgers ( I’m definitely not counting the squashed ones I’ve seen on the roadside), my first humming bird hawk moth, my first Crossbill, my first ring ouzels and my first slow worm!

I am not always able to get photos though, so it was very special when I managed to snap the barn owl that visits my sister’s croft, be it through a pane of glass. Below are some of the wildlife I have captured on camera..

Peacock Butterfly, Shap, Cumbria.
Harebells, Burnsall, Yorkshire Dales.
Badger, RSPB Haweswater, Cumbria.
Mandarin Duck, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales.
Wild Garlic, Clitheroe, Lancashire.
Greenfinch, Mum’s Garden, Cumbria.
Sundew, Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales.
Crossbill, Aitken Wood, Lancashire.
Common Blue Butterfly, Clitheroe, Lancashire.
Vipers Bugloss, Ullswater, Cumbria.
Green Hairstreak Butterfly, Slaidburn, Lancashire.
Sea Pinks, St Bees Head, Cumbria.
Barn Owl, Cowark, Lancashire.
Scarce Chaser, NT Berrington Hall, Herefordshire.
Hoar Frost, Edenhall, Cumbria.
Stone Chat, St Bees Head, Cumbria.
Red Squirrel, NT Acorn Bank, Cumbria.
Stitchwort, Askham, Cumbria.
Kingfisher, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales.
Slow Worm, Foulshaw Moss, Cumbria.

What have been your own favourite wildlife moments of 2019?

Chasing Butterflies at Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve.

My sister, niece and nephew have never seen six-spotted burnet moths before, so as I have spied them flying around my local nature reserve, we decided to take a trip to Salthill Quarry this morning. The weather here in the North West is hot and muggy, ideal it seems for butterfly spotting. Here is a small selection of what I managed to photograph, including the elusive and gloriously colourful Burnet Moths.

Brown Ringlet Butterfly.
Caterpillars ~ Are they Cinnabar or Six – Spotted Burnet Moths?
A bee like Hover fly.
Six-Spotted Burnet Moth.
Six-spotted Burnet Moth.
Common Grasshopper.
Meadow Brown Butterfly.
Female Common Blue Butterfly.
Male Common Blue Butterfly.
Small Skippers on Knapweed.

Whilst we were here we decided to use 15 minutes to take part in this year’s Big Butterfly Count. The idea is to note down what butterflies & moths you might see in your garden, local park, field or nature reserve and submit your findings online. It’s a nice way to spend a few minutes of your time and helpful to UK Butterfly conservation too. Here is what we saw.

Brown Ringlet – 4

Large White – 1

Small White – 2

Small Tortoiseshell ~ 1

Common Blue ~ 1

Six Spotted Burnet Moth ~ 4

Small Skipper ~ 6

There were other moths & butterflies too, some that we didn’t manage to photograph and from memory are finding hard to identify. Chasing Butterflies is a warm business, we decamped to a cafe for cooling icecream after. 😁

Will you be taking part in The Big Butterfly Count?

Enjoying Nature Along The River Wharfe, Yorkshire Dales.

My niece and nephew broke up for Summer last week so Hugo and I joined them and my sister for a wander along the River Wharfe. Our plan was to walk from Burnsall to Grassington , a pleasant riverside ramble. However we stopped so many times to admire butterflies, identify insects, look under stones for crayfish and watch waterbirds, that we didn’t make much headway on the timescale we had. Another time perhaps! However we had lots of fun along the way. I come from a nature loving family. πŸ™‚

My 8 year old neice Imogen says that we all have our own talents at identifying things. She is good at insects, Roman knows his reptiles & snakes ( we didn’t see any! ), Auntie Shaz ( me) can name most flowers ( though I might need my blogging friends to help with a couple ) and my sister’s speciality subject is dog breeds. Ok then!

Here are a few photos from our Wharfedale wander.

A lesser spotted Hugo at Hebden Suspension Bridge and Stepping stones.
Betony.
Small Skipper on Yarrow.
White duck.
Hugo helping Imogen I D flowers.
Caterpillar of Peacock Butterfly.
Harebells.
Monkey Flower.
Goosander.
Harebells, Betony and Hawkweed.
Flowers galore.
Any ideas?
Common spotted orchid.
Not sure. I’ve had a look online and came up with Sand Garlic?
Common Grasshopper.
Rest – Harrow.
Would you cross the wibbly wobbly bridge or the stepping stones?
Nature Spotters.

Thanks to my sister for some of the photos. πŸ™‚

Hawthorns Photo Scavenger Hunt ~ April.

April has been the perfect month to join in with the Scavenger Hunt! Here’s a few Spring like pics for the prompts. πŸ™‚

Edge ~ This was taken on Good Friday after a lovely walk with friends. We had all been told to decorate some hard boiled eggs for an egg rolling event! Here are the eggs all lined up at the top of a hill and soon to be rolled off the edge. You can probably see Hugo was keeping his beady eye on them. He had to roll a tennis ball…..because he is not at all trustworthy as far as anything remotely edible is concerned.

Loaf ~ I have substituted loaf for hot-cross-buns because they are after all like mini loaves. Well maybe. These were part of a rather yummy Easter themed Afternoon Tea at the Coniston Hotel near Skipton. My friend Gill had her spa day hen do here on Easter Monday. And I have to say this was a very nice treat. Happy Easter Days. πŸ™‚

Bridge ~ I also have to say 2019 might be the year of the bridge as I keep finding cute pack horse ones whilst out on local walks in the gorgeous Ribble Valley. This one is not far from the village of Bashall Eaves , which also has an old cheese press in the centre and a pub called The Red Pump.

Mine ~ This Nature journal is all mine and I love writing what wildlife I see on walks or just in my back yard etc. I sometimes copy illustrations from books and cut pictures from magazines. It’s a relaxing hobby. πŸ™‚

Black ~ is the colour of our pets. Excuse this photo of Hugo and Slinky on the bed with various items of clothing strewn over the end, but I just love seeing them together on the same photo. πŸ™‚ Black can be an awkward colour when it comes to pet hair as you can imagine. The best thing to do is wear black too and turn a blind eye to the black tumbleweeds that follow you round the house.

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My own choice ~ I chose this gorgeous creature for my own choice, because well isn’t he/she divine. A Green Hairstreak Butterfly, I was lucky enough to see lots of these on a guided RSPB walk in the fells above Slaidburn on Saturday. I have never seen one before so I was very happy. Green Hairstreaks are tiny and like to feed on gorse, broom and bilberry. Look out for them on moorland near you. Bowland Moorland Safari Info Here.

Head on over to Kate’s Blog for more Scavenger Hunt posts from tomorrow ( Friday) . X

Sunday Sevens 22nd July.

Having had a whole week off ( oh yes! ) , I thought I would share some of what I have been up to, in the form of a Sunday Sevens. Sunday SevensΒ is 7 ( or more) pictures from your week and was originally devised by Natalie atΒ Threads & Bobbins

Fun With Family. Last Sunday my brother stopped over, so we headed to our sisters and had an afternoon out at Beacon Fell Country Park, looking for all the sculptures on the trail. Woodpeckers, Owls, Hare and Dragonflies…to name but a few. You can read about a previous visit to the park here.

Before losing my sandals!

Sinking Sandals. Also this week my lovely friend Lou visited us on route to her graduation in Liverpool. Before dropping her off at Crosby Station ,we paid a visit to the Art installation Another Place at Crosby Beach. 100 Iron Men stand looking out to sea, over 3 miles of coastline.

Lou squelching her way over to one of the 100 Iron Men.

We were very stupid and decided to head out over the wet sand to examine one barnacled specimen. Don’t try this at home folks! Lou was fine, but I ended up losing my sandals to the squelchy Mersey mud. 😦 I know it could have been a lot worse. :/ After that we stayed close to the promenade!

Big Butterfly Count. Heres something I was excited to join in with! Every Summer the Big Butterfly Count asks that you take 15 minutes of your time to sit and watch butterflies. πŸ¦‹ I decided to count the butterflies we saw whilst relaxing by the dunes at Crosby Beach. It was a great location as I spotted Peacocks, Tortoishells, Whites, Six-spotted Burnets, a Painted Lady and a Common Blue. Why not give the count a go and submit your results here.

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#walk1000miles. Β A riverside walk to a nearby village yesterday, brought my miles walked total for this year so far to 909 miles!Β  Think my swan friend here was impressed!Β  Hopefully I should hit 1000 miles in August and then my aim is to walk 1500 miles by the end of the year. That would be pretty awesome!

How are you? Any good plans for today ( Sunday) ?Β  Hoping to head to the coast again. Will try not to lose my sandals this time……

Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve.

To ease my England V Sweden viewing angst, I thought I would write this post at the same time. Ha! I am a very nervy audience…

This morning I had a wander round one of my local town’s two Nature Reserves. Salthill Quarry has appeared on my blog a couple times, but as I haven’t visited for over twelve months, I thought I would drop by for a nosy. The Quarry is a designated SSSI because of its geological formations…but I was there for the flowers…and the butterflies. πŸ™‚

The 7.00 hectare Nature Reserve has grassland and woodland habitats. I was certainly glad of a little shade. The sun beat down as I looked for betony, orchids and scabious. Some of the land was dry and parched. Still no sign of approaching rain here in the North West.

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Roses on the way to the reserve.
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And a Painted Lady on Buddleia.
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Into the Woods.
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A Swallow-Tailed Moth ~ I think..
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Speckled Wood.
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Feeling parched.
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Hmmm Spray painter, if your going to do this , at least do a neat job! This is the Crinoid Seat that looks across to Pendle Hill.
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Lady’s Bedstraw.
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Orchids.
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Almost hidden ~ a blue damselfly.
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Marjoram.
P1090156
Scabious.
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Under the Umbels.
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Brown Ringlet.
P1090158
Harebell.
P1090179
Green Damselfly , maybe?
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Six-spotted Burnett Moth.

Feeling slightly calmer now. …

Thanks for accompanying me on a wander round Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve.