Butterflying Weekend

Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th July 2015
Large Blue - all the individuals seen were males
On Saturday I took Paul F and Matt, who travelled from the Birmingham area, to Daneway Banks for Large Blue. Conditions were pretty much ideal and it wasn't long before we started finding our target species. We counted at least six Large Blues most quite fresh looking, but one very worn and almost unrecognisable. Other butterfly species included two Small Heaths, two Silver-washed Fritillaries, many Marbled Whites, Ringlets and Meadow Browns, Small Skippers, Large Skippers, a Common Blue and three Speckled Woods (two of these at Siccaridge Wood nearby).  I also saw my first Silver Y moth of the year.
Large Blue
Marbled White
Small Heath
Strawberry Banks
Notable plants on the visit included most notably of all a Greater Butterfly Orchid at Siccaridge Wood and on Daneway Banks we noted Common Spotted Orchid and Pyramidal OrchidCommon Centaury, Yellow Centaury, Dark Mullein, Common Thyme, Wild OreganoField Scabious, Agrimony, Self-heal, and Red Clover.
Greater Butterfly Orchid - brightening the woodland shade
Common Centaury
Yellow Centaury
Dark Mullein
Not forgetting birds, we recorded two Green Woodpeckers, two Ravens, a  Buzzard, and two flyover Siskins over, all contributing to a fantastic morning, finished off nicely with a little refreshment at The Daneway.
White Admiral, Cannop - a Gloucestershire tick
This morning, after a number of attempts at various sites in previous years, I finally saw White Admiral in Gloucestershire. I am indebted to Shane who I bumped into at  at Cannop and had detailed directions from Bruce P. We saw three in total, which was brilliant, and to think I almost didn't bother going because the forecast didn't look very good. Up to three Silver-washed Fritillaries were also seen, also a beautiful butterfly, but it was the Admirals that stole the show.
Silver-washed Fritillary, Cannop
The Cannop White Admiral site

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