...what I would give for a windless day! This morning, there was plenty of sunshine and it was really warm out of the breeze. Unfortunately, we were not free until mid-afternoon, by which time a heavy sea-mist had blown in. Nonetheless, we headed to Langton Matravers for a circular walk down to the coast path and back via Seacombe.
While we were walking across the first meadow, there were plenty of Meadow Brown Butterflies and Small Skippers, but what really caught my eye was a lady called Vanessa, who I stalked for a while! The Painted Lady Vanessa cardui is one of the butterflies on my list to blip during The Big Butterfly Count but, disappointingly, she kept settling too high in the hedgerow. At least I was able to get some good Meadow Brown shots during the process.
Down on the south-facing slopes above the cliffs, there were lots of Small Skippers, Lulworth Skippers, and Marbled Whites all finding it hard to settle in the strong wind. I managed to get one good shot of a Marbled White with its wings open and a Six-spot Burnet with its wings more open than usual.
My real object in the walk was the Seacombe Valley because I frequently see Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady and Comma butterflies there. Unexpectedly, the first thing of interest was a wonderful pair of mating Bloody-nosed Beetles Timarcha tenebricosa. I had expected it to be more sheltered in the valley than it was, so there were not very many butterflies around but I was lucky enough to spot a couple of Commas. One was a very old ragged specimen but this one was, not only in good condition, it was also willing to pose for me.
My favourite image was definitely the beetles, however I have blipped the Comma Polygonia c-album in support of the count. I have posted the X-rated beetles and other images on our blog...
- Nikon D700