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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A new butterfly and a good moth

Having worked out where to see the Duke of Burgundy butterflies I made the effort yesterday despite rather unpromising weather: although short-sleeved shirt weather there was a breeze and the cloud did offer slight drizzle on occasions.  On arriving at Hawnby Hill had close views of Red Grouse including a number of small chicks.  Overhead were three raptors, one a third larger than the other two which were buzzards; the bowed wing shape, white head with brown eye-stripe and very pale underparts all pointed to Osprey - what on earth was it doing there!

A walk along the north-western flank provided a very small number of butterflies, Red Admirals, Small Heath, Wall Brown and Small Copper, and then at last a Duke of Burgundy.  I managed a handful of shots of the Duke despite the breeze and poor light keeping the shutter speeds slow.

In addition I had at least three Mother Shipton moths which were my first in Yorkshire and only seen previously in Dorset, a few evasive crambid moths the one of which potted was lathionellus, several Brown Silver-lines and an interesting large pale Carpet which was just too quick but was probably a well-marked Silver-ground Carpet.

The other highlight (?) was me losing my footing and staggering at gathering speed hurtling down a steep slope before crashing to the ground.  I am sure if caught on camera it would have been worth seeing again but just brings it home how vulnerable us old codgers can be especially somewhere off the beaten track and alone.

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