Archive for the 'Butterflies' Category

05
Sep
22

Wild Ken Hill

One of the best places in the county to see Grey Partridge is Wild Ken Hill between Snettisham and Heacham in the West of Norfolk. Book yourself on a ‘Big Picture Tour’ for a trip around the estate and learn what good work the WKH team are doing on the farm and in the rewilding area to look after our wildlife and produce our food sustainably.

20
Aug
22

Aberration

The Chilterns is a wonderful place for butterflies. One of the reserves we called at was Aston Rowant NNR. The reserve slopes are great for Silver Spotted Skipper, and we saw many of them. However, it wasn’t just about one species … we managed 15 in all, including Adonis Blue, Brown Argus in spades as well as Brown Hairstreak which is the first time I’ve seen it there. It’s ironic really as on the following day I ran a Brown Hairstreak tour when we didn’t see any at all. However, as I’ve constantly reiterated to those that follow this blog and come on the tours … there’s always something to look at.

Perhaps the best find at Aston Rowant, for me, was an aberrant Chalk Hill Blue. I find these variations to the norm fascinating – as yet I’ve not been able to tie it down to type and give it a name (possibly Ab. postico-obsoleta) but I’m sure someone out there will be able to; although there are more than four hundred named varieties of this beautiful species (Russwurm, 1978)

15
Aug
22

Beauty and the Beast

Roaming across the Chilterns this week in search of Silver Spotted Skippers we happened upon Beauty and the Beast. A Robber Fly in an embrace with an Adonis Blue Butterfly … invoking the kiss of death.

19
Jul
22

Butterflies

Just a few of the beautiful butterflies we saw on the Cumbria Butterfly Tour this month. Next years tour is available for booking here

Common Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Grayling, High Brown Fritillary, Large White, Northern Brown Argus, Small Heath, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary.

28
Jun
22

Similar

When we went to the Isle of Wight last week we looked for Glanville’s Fritillary. It’s a butterfly that neither I, nor of course Tani, had seen before. It took us quite a while to find our first. Numbers were not in the realm of those conjured up in my imagination by others. Perhaps they are having a subdued year.

We did the Essex Tour this week to see Heath Fritillary. In the books it appears some consider the Glanville’s and the Heath Fritillary easily confused. I’m not too sure about that but take a look at this composite photo I’ve put together and tell me what you think. I think those dark spots towards the rear of the hindwing on the Glanville’s are quite distinct.

24
Jun
22

Imminent Tours – places available

https://mailchi.mp/c0ecc7455624/nightjar-evening-and-purple-emperor-day

Click on the link for details

21
May
22

A Collection

A few nice insects on the wing at the moment.

31
Dec
21

Happy New Year

This year has been a strange one. A year of two halves and contrasts. The first half, once again like 2020, became a period of sedentary incapability. Tours and trips had to be cancelled. Unpicking the arrangements with boat operators and hotels is never easy. Indeed, sadly some of them financially went to ‘the wall’ as their business slumped.

I always said that because of the way I run the business, and my financial affairs, WT&E would front out anything thrown at it no matter how long the lockdown, without the help of government handouts. Little did I know that the business levels in the second half of the year would bounce back so strongly and so quickly.

Guests were keen to get back into the countryside and I couldn’t blame them, having been isolated and restricted for so long. However, safety of guests was paramount. Local day tours were conducted by guests following in their own vehicle and longer tours when we shared a vehicle were carried out against a background of testing by both guests and me. As a consequence, we had some good local tours and some effortlessly successful tours away.

A good relationship this year with ‘Wild Ken Hill’ and involvement in a small way with some of the good things they are trying to do there was very pleasing. Long may their rewilding and regenerative agricultural development continue.

Still no trips abroad. I feel it would be foolish to commit to these yet. To do so in the current environment is inviting difficulty and potential unnecessary expense. Maybe in 2023. The wilds of Australia, North and South America will all still be there; as will the Atlantic Islands. All on our agenda.

A single new bird for me during the course of the year was the Syke’s Warbler on Blakeney Point in September. The supporting cast of other birds, dragonflies, butterflies and cetaceans were many, but perhaps the pick of the crop was the Sei Whale in the Firth of Forth.

The accompanying photo I took of a Sanderling last week, a bird renowned for running up and down beaches, perhaps summarises the year; a lot of backwards and forwards.

All in all a good year. 2022 promises even more. I hope above all hope the coming year gives you your needs and desires. Happy New Year.

23
Aug
21

Adonis in the rain

It’s no coincidence that probably the most stunning butterfly we have in the UK carries the name of the god of desire and beauty.

We were once again up against it with the weather. This time in our search for Adonis Blue Butterflies. A gun metal grey sky and occasional drizzle didn’t put us off taking a small group to Hertfordshire on Saturday. The day was brightened considerably by us finding about 20 males and a few females of this metallic blue beauty.

Here’s Tania showing off the finer points of a male Adonis Blue which took to her hand for the warmth. Even the underside of the wings on this creature go above expectations.

14
Aug
21

A little skip

I’m not sure what species of seaweed or pine cone the BBC are using for forecasting these days but I’ll give them some information for free … it’s not working. When the weather app says sunny all day for several days in advance and with 12 hours to go they change it to cloud with rain something ain’t right. The clue is in the name. It’s supposed to be a ‘fore-cast‘.

Anyways, it’s sufficient to say finding butterflies on the Silver Spotted Skipper day in Buckinghamshire wasn’t as easy as it could have been on Thursday. However, even with the drizzle, even with the cloud and even in the rain we managed to find 18 species of butterfly on one south facing slope. Included in the list were some dazzling Adonis Blues and of course a couple of Silver Spotted Skippers.




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