Tag Archives: Small Heath

Fen Bog

23 Jul

DSCN178923/7/16 Did Fen Bog for Keeled Skimmer with RL back in 2013 [see here including direction] . Today was mainly for ML but it was nice to have a change of scene as I haven’t been out of my usual area much this year due to not been able to get for things earlier this year and lack of anything worth the trip recently.

As expected on a warm Saturday at the beginning of the summer holidays the trip out was a bit of a drag and unfortunately it had cooled a bit on arrival but Keeled Skimmers had been seen recently. Walking from the car park I had a Common Lizard but as usual disappeared rapidly. Wandered around and had a couple of probables but nothing settled. Lots of distinctive ‘grass moths’ on the wings. A pig to photograph and usually just ignore them but managed a couple of reasonable shots, hopefully good enough to ID later.

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Catoptria margaritella or Pearl-band Grass Veneer

Still having no luck with dragonflies except for a what we thought was a female Common Darter but on studying my pictures proved to a Keeled Skimmer. We were considering moving to another site but met a couple who’d recently seen Keeled Skimmer in an area we had not checked yet so headed off there where amazingly ML managed to pick them out at a good range on the only decent pool we’d seen today .

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female Keeled Skimmer

We all scrambled down to it and eventually had at least a dozen, mostly male Keeled Skimmers. However were very active and rarely stopped for long in clear sight. We all ultimately managed some good shots, me by the tricky manual mode.

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male Keeled Skimmer

A lot of different micro moths on the wing and managed to ‘pot’ Brown China-mark but failed with another species which I still haven’t a clue about.

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Brown China-mark

Butterfly wise mainly Skippers, Ringlet and Small Heath, the latter very local in my regular area.

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Small Skipper

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Small Heath

Also had a large Fritillary, likely Dark Green but it just flew through but a couple had been seen two well in the car park. Didn’t see any of the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary which also were seen in the car park.

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RAF Fylingdales-I preferred the ‘golf balls’.

Later checked Eller Beck on the opposite side of the road. Managed one female Golden-ringed Dragonfly ovipositing a few feet below us.

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ovipositing Golden-ringed Dragonfly on Eller Beck

Bird wise very quiet with the upland breeding birds likely moved on and Wheatear was the only one I wouldn’t have seen just walking the dogs near my home.

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Hole of Horcum

Return journey was quicker helped by taking the A64 at Malton and thus avoiding the town centre bottleneck.

 

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Insects at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

5 Jun

Spend the morning at Tophill Low NR with RL and ML. With spring wader passage over and everything down to breeding there wasn’t much bird wise of interest to see. A Common Sandpiper on South Marsh East was the only ‘vagrant’.Expected to see a few insects but even they were disappointing with the only Painted Lady refusing to settle and even the recent mass invasion of Diamond-back Moths failing to show. However had a few teneral damselflies with one proving to be our first Red-eyed of the year from a photo ny RL.DSCN9050

Teneral Red-eyed Damselfly-Tophill Low NR-RL

Dingy Skipper had been recently seen at Kiplingcotes so with good temperatures finally after recent dull days thought it worth a punt. Parked at the official reserve car park to save the long walk I usually take from Kiplingcotes Station. A bit windy in the quarry itself but quickly picked up a small brown butterfly which a settling was confirmed as Small Heath.

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Small Heath-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Next, although not rare, was a nice Peacock which kept up with us the length of the quarry.

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Peacock Butterfly-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Heard the familiar mewing of Common Buzzard and look up see not one but five drifting over.

Next had a male Common Blue but this just wouldn’t stop and eventually pushed it into the north-east corner where it finally gave itself up.

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Common Blue Butterfly-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Walking back we were joined by MJ just in time to see our first Cinnabar Moth of the year.

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Cinnabar Moth-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Reached the west end and were beginning to give up on Dingy Skipper but we saw a stout dragonfly. Initial thoughts were Four-spotted Chaser but had some suspicion it might be a Broad-bodied Chaser. Fortunately it ‘hung up’ allowing us to confirm it as the latter and all to get good pictures.

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Female Broad-bodied Chaser-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Had an interesting butterfly which fly out of the reserve to the footpath but couldn’t be relocated and we were near to leaving when it or another landed on the bank below me. Ran back down to get a closer view and although initially unable to see it RL relocated it and I managed to get one clear shot to confirm it as Dingy Skipper before it flew towards ML and MJ then disappeared again.

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Dingy Skipper-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Like Tophill Low NR Diamond-back Moths were scarce but had my first Straw Dot of the year.

Just after parting company with MJ she called and looking up had two low flying Red Kites.

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Red Kite over Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT