Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Powerstock Common

I've got this week off work and seeing as the weather forecast is for rain every day except today, I thought I'd better make the most of it and pop over the birder into Dorset to visit Powerstock Common. There were two things in particular that I was hoping to see Marsh Fritillary and Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk Moth. Although Marsh Fritillaries are out in good numbers on several sites at the moment they weren't here! I'm sure it was just because it's a bit early yet for this particular site, at least I hope so. I did manage to see three males albeit briefly. I had much better luck with Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk Moths though seeing at least six. Very tricky getting photos though as they weren't keeping still for a moment! Other butterflies seen included scores of Common Blue, several Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper and Small Heath and My first Painted Lady of the year.

There are two very different kinds of habitat with acid grassland like this and...

Calcareous grassland like this along a disused railway line.

Dingy Skipper

Grizzled Skipper

 Marsh Fritillary

Painted Lady

Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk Moth

Four Spotted Chaser

Garden Chafer


 Greater Butterfly Orchid

Heath Spotted Orchid


Wilma said...

Great shots! Nice to see the bee hawk moth; I have a special liking for hawk moths and your photos are really good.

Ian Andrews said...

Karen, can you tell me where abouts at Powerstock Common you saw the bee hawk moths; I see from your pics you've been up by the pond for the bogbean and along the old railway line for the greater butterfly orchids. I probably go to PC every 10 ays on average and have never seen the hawk moths...or at least recognised them as such. Coincidentally I went to Parsonage Down on Sunday but was rather surprised at how small the burnt tipped orhids were, compared to the couple I saw at Martin Down last year. Anyway, lovely to see your site in full flow again.

Karen Woolley said...

Yes Ian, In the small field by the pond I saw two nectaring on Bugle, especially one large patch near the path. I saw three on a bank nectaring on bugle and lousewort. If you take the main track to the left carry on along it until the electic fence on your right turns a corner. About opposite here there is a ditch and bank in a field to the left of the track. Check every big ginger bee,..some might not be! ;-)

Hope this helps, all we need is some sun!