Today was supposed to be a really nice day, with the wind dropping with the cloud cover. This was, for the most part, true, but the level of both increased as the afternoon wore on. I decided to make some kind of effort to get up early to have a look round the moths. There was a reasonable catch, the highlights being another new species of footman, this time Buff, and a Pebble Hook Tip. Other species were around, but these were species I had already encountered during the week, such as Dark Arches.
I decided to go to Broadcroft Quarry butterfly reserve on Portland since the weather was meant to be Ok. However, due to train times I did not set off until quite late, and then had to wait around an hour for a bus, leaving a large part of the day wasted.
Once on site it took me a while to get my bearings, but was soon examining. For the actual nature reserve there was very little, mainly common brown butterfly species with a few Marbled Whites thrown in. However, on the other side of the road to the reserve there were a few more species to be had, as more small butterflies were out on the wing.
I logged 3 species of Skipper; Small, Large and Lulworth. I was pleased to have found the Lulworth again as goodness knows when I will next see another due to their range being so restricted. Sadly the wind was picking up at this point and photos were getting harder to take in the swaying grass.
The real highlight of the day was the Small Blues. I had only ever seen one before, a rather scratty individual, but today there were a good few on the wing, some of which were in pristine condition. I was able to get a few photos, but the wind proved a problem again and the butterflies were very mobile and hard to pin down. Besides a few Common Blues, they were the only blue butterflies on the wing.
Sadly there were not many birds around; such is the nature of the site. Other insects on site were a little more plentiful, with none butterfly highlights being a nice Emperor Dragonfly and a real bonus being a Great Green Bush Cricket, my first not on the Isle of Wight, and my first that I found that wasn’t singing. It was lumbering through the vegetation whilst I was watching the small blues, so would have been hard to miss.
-Great Bush Cricket
I had initially planned to go to the bill and do some Seawatching but given the state of public transport and that buses to the point are very infrequent, I decided to give it a miss and head back to the caravan.
Broadfield Quarry Butterfly Reserve: Linnet, Goldfinch, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Swallow, Swift, House Martin, Emperor Dragonfly, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Lulworth Skipper, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Small Blue, Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell,