Saturday, 30 May 2015

Butterfly Walk at Wembury

Saturday May 30th and as usual for this strange Spring it was cool but sunny when I arrived at Wembury. It did warm up along the walk but was still not particularly warm for the time of year although it must have been warm enough as eventually I saw quite a few butterflies.

A few speckled woods, a very tatty peacock, orange tips, a painted lady and male common blues were seen along with my first large skipper of the year.

 Speckled Wood
 Speckled Wood
 Male Common Blue
 Large Skipper
Large Skipper

Even better was finally finding 3 male green hairstreaks - I have been keeping my eyes open for them on my recent Wembury walks but with no luck although I don't see them at Wembury every year. I had some ridiculously close views of them resting on gorse bushes by the footpath at Wembury Point with 2 of the males almost constantly engaged in an aerial combat - very beautiful butterflys despite being a little worn, surprisingly small and easily overlooked.

 Green Hairstreak
 Green Hairstreak - the white flashes on the lower wing are the "hairstreaks"
 Green Hairstreak
Green Hairstreak

The highlight though was a grizzled skipper at Wembury Point, a new butterfly for me. I saw it flittering around the vegetation at the base of a gorse bush before it flew off, again surprisingly small and almost overlooked despite its very smart brown and white colouring. It must be my reward for finally joining Butterfly Conservation this week!

Bird wise it was "as you were" - 2 whimbrels with 30 oystercatchers and a little egret along the beach, 14 Canada geese in the wheatfield, singing whitethroats, chiffchaffs and blackcaps, swallows around the stables and stonechats including my first fledgling of the year. The male shelduck along the beach was joined by a female and I saw a 2 singing male cirl buntings, a lone male and a male with a female in attendance. I had a look for the Dartford warblers and eventually found a singing male in the usual area but I am still convinced there are 2 males with just 1 female present. I had some nice views despite the bird constantly flitting about but I couldn't get any photos, however there are some very nice photos on Graham Watsons blog (

Singing Male Cirl Bunting

Also seen were 2 common lizards, my first 6 spot burnet moth on the wing, flowering stinking iris and the spine of what I assume is a porpoise poking out of the stinking mass of seaweed on the beach near the sewage pipe.

 Lackey Moth Caterpillar
 Speckled Yellow Moth
 Wing of Cream-Spot Tiger Moth found on the footpath at Wembury Point
Stinking Iris
A coffee and pasty for lunch before heading home and it had been a very enjoyable if chilly walk, there is some grotty weather forecast for the next few days but a promise of summer weather to come next week - I really hope so.

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