The weather has been a little changeable during early May with some rain and slightly breezy at times but on 19th May I had a morning trip to our local Butterfly Conservation at Alner’s Gorse reserve hoping to see some Marsh Fritillaries before they disappeared. It had been raining heavily the night before and wasn’t sure if there would be any about but the forecast wasn’t looking too good for the next couple of days so I thought I would risk it. Once you get on the reserve there is some shelter from the wind, surrounded by mature trees it’s a warm oasis.

It’s a fair trek to the field where I’ve seen them before and on the way I didn’t see very much. Nightingales have been heard and spotted there recently but no luck for me. The walk to the field was very muddy I didn’t realise we had that much rain, it always is a bit boggy in places at the reserve except in the height of summer, but I got through and started looking. At first I saw nothing then I saw one and then another. They are quite small which I always forget! I wasn’t that successful as I only saw about two flying, so I went to a field opposite where I hadn’t seen them before and to my surprise there were quite a few flying in the sun. I was also lucky to see a couple of Green Hairstreaks, again tiny Butterflies.

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Marsh Fritillaries

Green Hairstreak
Green Hairstreak

After taking some images I headed back to the main reserve and slowly wandered back through the reserve. There was a few Butterflies about and I saw a Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper and Large Skipper, again hard to find because of their size, but I was lucky they landed and I took some photos before they were off again!

Dingy Skipper
Dingy Skipper
Grizzled Skipper
Grizzled Skipper
Large Skipper
Large Skipper

I was pleased with what I saw several different species of Butterflies, Brimstone, Green Veined White, Small Copper and then I spotted two Painted Ladies, good to see them again, perhaps it’s going to be one of those special years when we get a a large number through the summer.

Brimstone
Brimstone
Green Veined White
Green Veined White
Small Copper
Small Copper
Painted Lady
Painted Lady
Painted Lady
Painted Lady

There of course were some other creatures besides insects a couple of day flying Moths and Damselflies plus Dragonflies I saw some Hawker Dragonflies but too quick for a picture and then A female Broad Bodied Chaser who was good enough to stay still for a while. As I was taking the image of the Chaser on the dead tree I saw and heard a couple of Buzzards above alongside a Red Kite, the Kites are certainly moving into different areas now.

A great morning and I was the only one there until I made my way back when another couple came, lovely peace and quiet in nature what could be better.

Moth?
Moth?
Mother Shipton Moth
Mother Shipton Moth
Broad Bodied Chaser
Broad Bodied Chaser
Broad Bodied Chaser
Broad Bodied Chaser

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