It’s now early June and I have my garden under control at last, always something to do but I decided that it could wait while I went for a trip to Alner’s Gorse Butterfly Reserve. It’s only about 20 minutes drive away from home so it was worth a visit to see what was about at this time. The weather had been very warm as it was this day.

I was hoping to see a Marsh Fritillary I have always wanted to see them but have been too late they are only around for a short period in early summer. The population in the UK and Europe has declined sharply so they are an endangered species and protected.

Of course I had to tune my eyes into looking for smaller creatures than birds and mammals and it took a little while to adjust. There was not much sign of anything as I walked down through the reserve except a Speckled Wood butterfly.

Silver Y Moth
Silver Y Moth

I was just beginning to think I wasn’t going to see very much when I started to see movement around me. The lovely Silver Y Moth, a scary looking Scorpion fly and a Swollen thighed beetle to name some of the interesting insects I saw that day. There were some different Damsel flies hovering about busily, I had to wait until they landed to get a photo.

Scorpion fly
Scorpion fly
Beautiful Demoiselle
Beautiful Demoiselle
Swollen-thighed Beetle - Oedemera nobilis
Swollen-thighed Beetle – Oedemera nobilis
Large Skipper Butterfly
Large Skipper Butterfly
Large Skipper Butterfly
Large Skipper Butterfly
Hoverfly (probably Volucella bombylans) on Dog Rose
Hoverfly (probably Volucella bombylans) on Dog Rose
Male Azure blue damselfly
Male Azure blue damselfly
Brown Shield Bug
Brown Shield Bug

There was not much Butterfly action I thought I was not going to see the Marsh Fritillaries when suddenly I saw some movement in front of me and there were three small butterflies chasing one another, I thought they may be Meadow Browns. Then one landed and I realised it was what I had been looking for. A lot smaller than what I expected but very beautiful none the less. I was so pleased!

Marsh Fritillary
Marsh Fritillary
Marsh Fritillary
Marsh Fritillary

I saw plenty of them in the end a man I met pointed me to a field where there would be plenty of them and there were many flying in the sunshine. At last it was time to make my way back and I was pleased to see a family of Wrens.

Fledgling Wren
Fledgling Wren
Burnet Companion Moth
Burnet Companion Moth
Burnet Companion Moth
Burnet Companion Moth

I had a lovely couple of hours and went home very happy.

2 thoughts on “Alner’s Gorse

  1. Lovely photos but the damsel marked as Common Blue is a male Azure (note marking on S2) + the bee on the rose is a hoverfly- probably Volucella bombylans.

  2. Thank you Neil I”m still trying to get to grips with all the name and identification of various insects. I’ve changed them on my post.

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