Tuesday, 2 September 2014

June and July- The Wyre Forest

My last June and July roundup mostly covered some of the avian delights I had seen at Upton Warren, but away from that I spent a long time down in the Wyre forest, looking for and photographing butterflies, but also keeping an eye and an ear out for any passing birds.

By far the rarest thing that I found was a stunning Dark-Green Fritilary, which despite originally identifying it as a female Silver washed, that later changed that evening, and it turned out that this species had gone practically extinct in the Wyre  a number of years ago, and my sighting was followed by a few more, which is great news.

Luckily, I had my Canon DSLR with me, and I was able to get up close and personal to a number of Fritilaries, including this stunningly fresh specimen which repeatedly returned and fed off a  thistle in one of the many flower meadows in the forest.

I also managed to find a Marbled White, which perched really nicely on ferns adjacent to one of the tracks. Although a fairly common butterfly, these still remain up there on my 'favorites' list.

The number of Silver-washed Fritilaries was superb, and they could literally be found throughout the forest. As is in their nature though, they were more content gliding around up in the treetops and tantalisingly dropping down low over the ground to flit around you before flying back up to the canopy.

Needless to say, this proved fairly aggravating, but eventually, a rather dapper female dropped down and perched really well and proceeded to show very nicely, sadly lacking the males gorgeous markings, but rather nice in itself.

Also showing off its silvery green underwing.

A few males chose to perch up distantly though, and I managed a few Digi-binned shots as they perched on nettles, which I'm sure got a  few 'phwarr' notes from me, Look at that!

Red admirals were common throughout the forest, and I eventually managed to track down a very photogenic black and red gem as it perched and warmed up in the sun.

The White Admirals were less than showy unfortunately, and tended to only perch up briefly once I had found them. One did perch up on trackside vegetation, but it was rather tatty, with large chunks taken out of the wings and bright sunshine glowing off its upperwing.

A few very stunning freshly emerged Comma's were also showing, with one choosing to warm up on my bad which proved a nice radiator for it!

I also managed much that I saw but didn't managed to photograph, such as Small Pearl-boardered Fritilaries and most Common butterflies. Dragonflys were represented by Four spotted Chasers, a single Golden-ringed Dragonfly as the highlights, with most of the common 'Dragons' of the forest also seen.



You didn't think i was going to do a post without mentioning birds right!!

Despite most birds been fairly quiet at this time of year, i still managed to 'connect' with all the forest specialities, such a Pied Flycatcher, and a large family party of Spotted Flycatchers. Tree Pipits also made an appearance, and i finally managed to connect with a Redstart, with a male showing in the vicinity of Lodge Hill Orchard. A number of Dippers were located, including a few juveniles, which were great to watch. A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was a nice surprise as it called loudly while I was watching White Admirals!
All in all a very enjoyable way to spend a number of days!

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