Saturday, 22 August 2015

Gatekeepers and devil's-bit scabious

TODAY we went for a gentle walk around the paths NW of Litton in Somerset.  I was not expecting to see any unusual sites of interest, so was really surprised to come across two spectacular uncut meadows full of flowers adjacent to ancient woodland.

Devil's-bit scabious, betony and meadow sweet, were the most dominant, but there were scatterings of salad burnet, orchids, cowslips, lady's bedstraw and, usually, dyer's greenweed.

I've never seen D-BS in such profusion on a flat meadow site.  It turned out that we had stumbled upon a SSSI: Long Dole Wood and Long Meadow managed by SWT and an adjacent site.  The main butterflies on the site were gatekeepers, which are quite lovely in themselves:

Small skipper

The meadow looking back to the woodland from where we emerged


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Wonderful Scotland (Day 6)

ON the first day of July we paid a visit to the breath taking Summer Isles.  We took a tourist boat out to an island with a tea room and a fishery, but the main attraction were the dolphins and the seals on the journey. The common dolphins displayed by jumping high into the air, with the young swimming alongside the adults - amazing sights...

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Killerton NT butterflies

IN my previous blog abut our visit to the NT Killerton House Estate, I really didn't do justice to the amazing butterflies that we saw - there were so many thanks to the focused management of the woodland rides - it was an incredible experience to see how plentiful they were.  Thanks to ranger Dave for his expert local knowledge and taking some of the harder to reach photos!

So here is a selection of them now - starting with gatekeeper, then peacock, silver-washed fritillary, ringlet, peacock, red admiral, small white (?), white admiral - enjoy!: