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Showing posts from June, 2016

Isle of Wight

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Tuesday 7th - Saturday 11th June 2016
Here are some highlights from my recent holiday on the Isle of Wight staying in Shanklin: Glanville Fritillaries at Compton Bay, Wall Lizards at Ventnor, Red Squirels at the hotel, Painted Ladies everywhere, and generally everything else - I do love the IoW.

Heath Fritillary at Haddon Hill

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Sunday 5th June 2016
The forecast looked ideal, but when I arrived at Haddon Hill it was, although bright and warm, cloudy. The roads showed signs of it having rained earlier. This wasn't what I wanted. An initial search for the rare butterfly I had come to see was fruitless; just a couple of Small Heaths.I found lots of Common Cow-wheat, the food plant of the target species. Tree Pipits, Stonechats, a Willow Warbler and a singing Redstart provided further interest. With conditions not improving I adjourned to the main car park to eat me picnic and check the weather app. It didn't look promising despite the glorious weather I had left behind, but I went for another look. Patches of blue sky were beginning to appear, and my spirit raised. This butterfly is only active in bright sunshine and at last. this was appearing. A Green Hairstreak fluttered by and landed close by. And then, at last, a Heath Fritillary. It was the only one I saw, but it was enough, and was very obliging, …