• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Owen's lifetime of wildlife in a year. (1 Viewer)

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
June 17th

An early start to go to wixhall moss in Shropshire. A long way but still the closest Large Heath colony in the country.

An amazing place. A huge low land peak bog with all sorts of specialised wildlife. Lovely views of sun dew and lesser bladderwort. Two carnivorous bog plants. Two dragonfly ticks in White Legged Damselfly and white faced darter and the large heaths.

Saw about a dozen but almost exclusively flying over the boggy ground away from the paths and being gusted by quite strong winds. The only one I saw perched I realised too late my camera was still on Manual focus. So no pics. My 100th lifer of the year though which was one of my main targets at the beginning of the year.

Also had my first Ringlet and silver studded blues of the year. The blues were much more camera friendly. Even managed some phone pics. Beautiful little things.

52 ringlet
53 large heath
54 silver studded blue

Birds 254 Mammals 27 Herp 18 Butterflies 54 Total 353 Lifers 100


FFD9EE3F-F8FF-4D9A-91E9-BBFA2CDED67E.jpeg
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
June 23rd

Another very early start for a trip to Cumbria after two more butterfly lifers. I’m staying over but tomorrows weather looks quite gloomy (followed by wet) so kind of felt I had a very small window to work with.

First stop was Honister Pass Slate mine. Looks like quite a cool tourist attraction, nice cafe, lots of great slate statues but also one of the highest parking places available to try for Mountain Ringlet Britain’s only proper montane butterfly species.

Despite the high starting point you still had to walk quite a bit higher up pretty steep tracks. Something made worse by me mangling my two sets of directions and heading up the wrong track.

Despite some great wheatear and a hummingbird hawkmoth I’d done a fair bit of climbing without luck before I reread the instructions and saw how they could relate to the features visible on the other track. Once I corrected I soon found a stretch of hillside with dozens of Mountain ringlet. Very small and very flighty in strong sunlight but I did get some photos.

What was supposed to be a fairly quick climb had ended up being five miles of walking around the fells but the feeling of being on a proper mountainside with the elusive butterflies all around you was great.

It didn’t leave as much afternoon as I’d wanted but I decided to skip some nearer sites and head to Arnside Knott.

Absolutely amazing reserve of limestone hills overlooking Moorcombe bay. Very hot traipsing up and down hillsides but beautiful views.

Loads of butterflies mainly dozens and dozens of grayling which were incredibly territorial and wouldn’t let anything else settle. Saw over a dozen large fritillaries without seeing one land.

Had bins views of a few Brown Argus including one that was definitely male (and therefore not a similar female common blue) not even sure if there are common blue up there but I was happy to confirm one was definitely Northern Brown Argus (I’ve now seen northern and southern this year without seeing the regular, hopefully in august)

Might try for photos tomorrow or possibly come home via a few birds.

Leaves me with 5 British butterfly species (and I guess one Irish) for the life list, will hopefully have a shot at 3 more this year.

55 mountain ringlet
56 grayling
58 northern brown Argus

Birds 254 Mammals 27 Herp 18 Butterflies 58 Total 357 Lifers 102
 

Attachments

  • E5827BBA-D347-46DE-A9B5-69F6771BAB29.jpeg
    E5827BBA-D347-46DE-A9B5-69F6771BAB29.jpeg
    147.4 KB · Views: 9
  • 826170A8-E311-41E5-B71B-C37F2BB7DD22.jpeg
    826170A8-E311-41E5-B71B-C37F2BB7DD22.jpeg
    107 KB · Views: 9
  • F4C70077-E560-4F36-A85F-C7ACE1862430.jpeg
    F4C70077-E560-4F36-A85F-C7ACE1862430.jpeg
    108.5 KB · Views: 9
Last edited:

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
June 24th

Largely a horrendous drive down the m6 but at least had an early treat of visiting Foulshaw moss.

Very similar habitat to whixhal moss which I visited last week and indeed, despite the gloom I briefly saw Large Heath and white faced darter here too (as well as first black darter of the year)

The main draw though was nesting ospreys. I saw my first ever ospreys years ago when I was seeing someone in the lake district but they were quite a bit further north and it’s great to see them spreading out over the region.

Also managed some Redpoll. A species that’s apparently perfectly common in South Wales but which I never seem to run into. A very welcome late year tick.

An amazing reserve. I get the impression in sunshine it would be an absolute trove of insects.

Now for the rest of the drive.

255 osprey
256 redpoll (lesser but let’s get used to there being no difference 😀)

Birds 256 Mammals 27 Herp 18 Butterflies 58 Total 359 Lifers 102
 
Last edited:

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
Silver spotted and chequered skippers. Black and brown hairstreak and purple emperor. Hopefully will finish the year with just the chequered skipper and black hairstreak to go.

Your three are all a bit of a way from you aren’t they. I found both large blue and the glanville quite easy on the sites but the glanville especially is such an awkward place to get to. There are some released ones in Somerset i think
 

Trystan

Well-known member
Yes, I had planned to get the large blue last year but the red necked stint in Northumberland affected my plans, and I've missed the spotted skipper a couple of years ago due to bad timing with the weather. They all require a bit of a trek for me.

For black hairstreak, you can be lucky and get them right at the end of their season when the purple emperor is at the beginning of its season in Northamptonshire where chequered skippers have also been released, though I don't know exactly where. I made the trip to Scotland for them last year.
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
Yes, I had planned to get the large blue last year but the red necked stint in Northumberland affected my plans, and I've missed the spotted skipper a couple of years ago due to bad timing with the weather. They all require a bit of a trek for me.

For black hairstreak, you can be lucky and get them right at the end of their season when the purple emperor is at the beginning of its season in Northamptonshire where chequered skippers have also been released, though I don't know exactly where. I made the trip to Scotland for them last year.

We’ve talked about Scotland next year but I think it would just be one visit to the site on the way to the isles so one rainshower and it’s ruined.

Hopefully going for purple emperor in northhants next weekend. Not sure if black hairstreak is still possible or not. I’d kind of assumed not and was hoping for some good birds in Lincolnshire or nearby.
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
July 2nd

A few days that i hoped might add to the lists but didn’t. Whinchat are starting to properly annoy me.

Got a night walk in the Forest of Dean tonight so left home a bit earlier and went to slimbridge to have a try for the bluethroat.

Dipped it twice last year and looked like the same would happen again, had turned to leave as the area closing time approached when it started singing. Once it’s location was nailed down I managed a half dozen brief views to go with the song. I’d love to get better views one day but after 2 dips I was very happy.

257 bluethroat

Birds 257 Mammals 27 Herp 18 Butterflies 58 Total 360 Lifers 103
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top