Following the successful visit to Lancashire at the end of last week I stayed a bit more local for the early part of this week. Several speculative visits to interesting habitat for plants produced the surprise of the week. A look at a grassy bank with plenty of Kidney Vetch produced at least two small dark blue butterflies which size-wise indicated Small Blue. I was then thrown when photographing the underside of one of them: it was white with black spots which I took to be indicative of Holly Blue. Bearing in mind it is 15 years since I have seen Small Blue in Dorset I had forgotten that they had dark uppersides and white undersides with black spots. On checking it was clear that I had in fact seen two male Small Blues at what turns out to be one of two sites in Yorkshire but the locations are not commonly known.
|male Small Blue, Yorkshire|
|Small Blue to 2014 - Courtesy of Butterfly Conservation|
I then visited Old Glebe fields near Leyburn looking for Burnt-tip Orchid, no luck on this occasion but good to see so many Green-winged Orchids even if they were past their best, and a few Twayblades, and several Water Avens.
On Wednesday I went looking for Argent & Sable moths at Bishop's Wood near Selby. I eventually had at least seven in flight and eventually one perched on White Campion, even if it didn't pose properly!
|Argent & Sable, Bishop's Wood|
Another speculative visit to interesting habitat in VC64 produced another surprise: Pasque Flower. This is a plant I have seen before in Gloucestershire I think but never realised they occurred this far north. In addition there were a small number of Fragrant Orchids coming into flower and at least 150 Chimney Sweeper moths, a species I had recorded in Dorset well before I was interested in moth recording and somehow hadn't made it on to my list.
A fantastic weeks recording with c.70 new species including four new moths.