Tuesday 30 August 2011

End of Season at Fontmell Down

Yesterday I joined Dave and Hazel for an end of season trip to Fontmell Down. We were hoping to see larger numbers of both Silver-spotted Skipper and Adonis Blues than on our last visit. We weren't due to be leaving Seaton until 9.00am which gave me ample time to nip down Black Hole Marsh and spend another hour not seeing my first ever patch Cuckoo. We weren't disappointed at Fontmell Down though with plenty of Adonis Blues and Silver-spotted Skippers on the wing, especially as the day warmed up. On our last visit I hadn't managed to get a nice photo of the diagnostic silver spots on the underwing of the Silver-spotted Skipper but they were behaving much better this time, even sharing their most intimate moments with us! Still lots of lovely wild flowers to see too. The six hours we were there just seemed to fly by. One of my favourite spots for sure!

Adonis Blue. 
I've never seen one with the row of black spots along the hind-wing before.

 An even more vivid individual.

Female Adonis Blue

Female Silver-spotted Skipper

...and a male.

A pretty worn out specimen which was content to sit on my warm hand.

Nectaring on Dwarf Thistle.

 I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted a mating pair complete with an interloper!

He's trying his best to 'get in on the action' so to speak. 
I didn't realise that they can bend their abdomens as far round as that!

A small and inconspicuous flower of chalk grassland.

Quite lovely close up.

After arriving home I responded to a text telling me the Cuckoo was showing at Black Hole Marsh again. I arrived just in time to learn it had flown off over the river. I waited another hour or so but again to no avail. That was seven hours I'd put in looking for it in total! I didn't bother this morning and had a lie in instead. I did eventually succumbed to temptation (or masochism) again this evening, arriving at 5pm to find out it had been seen half an hour ago. Aghh!  Finally though, in the last five minutes of my eighth  hour looking I spotted it flying over the lagoon and perching on the tram-wires. Pretty distant, but beggars (patch listers) can't be choosers! 



Wilma said...

Love the Adonis Blue shots and congrats on the cuckoo. I don't have that much patience!

Karen Woolley said...

Thanks for commenting Wilma. I reckon some people would call my patience desperation!! ;-)