Tuesday, 19 July 2016

More Moths and Graylings

Returning from the caravan to Plymouth on July 16th and on the drive back the weather began to improve. We stopped off at a car boot sale near St.Mellion and wandering around the field I managed to see a marbled white and some 6 spot burnet moths amongst the stalls.

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.

Yponomeutidae sp.

Yponomeutidae sp.

Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing

Toadflax Pug

Scarce Silver Lines

July 17th was my birthday but unfortunately it was a Sunday and a very hot and sunny day and so it was difficult to decide where to go for a visit as everywhere was likely to be busy. In the end we headed off to Bolberry Down near Hope Cove for a walk along the coast although the drive there was hot and sweaty, full of traffic and with lots of reversing down narrow country lanes.

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

Grayling nectaring

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.

Male Yellowhammer

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment