With a mini heatwave being predicted to be on the way I had the moth box out in the backyard overnight and in the morning of July 17th I had a nice but small catch of moths - toadflax pug and lesser broad bordered yellow underwing were nice to see but best of all was a scarce silver lines, a new moth for me.
Diamond Back Moth
Micro Moth sp.
Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing
Scarce Silver Lines
On arriving at the National Trust car park at Bolberry Down I headed down to the cliff edge to admire the stunning views and disturbed a butterfly basking on the rocks. Closer inspection revealed it to be a grayling, a butterfly I was hoping to see having only ever seen them twice before (at Bolt Head and Stoke Point in 2010).
Walking along the coast path towards Hope Cove and more graylings were seen and I managed some nice views of what is quite a characterful butterfly. They were very difficult to find resting on the ground due to their amazing camoflagued wings and the way they would face the sun head on to keep cool, being a little easier to see when tilting their wings towards the sun to warm up. It was also interesting to note that if I stood still after disturbing one from the ground it would return to within inches of my feet allowing some nice views. Graylings always close their wings together at rest but in flight I could make out orange markings on their upperwings and at times they could look like very faded painted lady butterflys. Lovely butterflies to see and lovely to see them so well.
Grayling - without camera flash
Grayling - with camera flash
Grayling - with flash
Grayling - without flash
Also seen were lots of meadow browns along with 4 small coppers, a comma, a marbled white, large whites, ringlets and red admirals and I also had brief views of 2 scarlet tiger moths.
Scarlet Tiger Moth - record shot
Bird wise it was quiet as expected but I had nice views of yellowhammers, stonechats, skylarks and whitethroats and I heard but didn't see peregrines along the cliffs.
After a nice lunch in the cafe at Hope Cove the walk back to the car was hot and sweaty in the increasing heat and bright sunshine but it had been a very lovely birthday day out.