Friday, 12 July 2013

Walk to Bolsa

Lorna and I went a fantastic long walk to Bolsa last Sunday and, apart from the already featured adder, we saw lots of wildlife (including a zillion clegs and midges!) The island was soaked in sunshine and by mid afternoon everything, including us, seemed to be labouring under the excessive heat. We're just not used to it! A fantastic day for butterflies though; even before 10 am we were accompanied by dancing Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Heaths. Here I have a confession to make so never let it be said I am not honest. I saw my first ever definite Large Heath today. Fanfare! Before anyone casts stones, let me say that I have spoken to enough other butterfly enthusiasts to know that not knowing whether you've ever seen a Large Heath before is not such an embarrassing state to be in as you might imagine. There are 3 forms of this species, so variable that they were once considered to be three different species. The form found in Scotland, subspecies Scotica has the appearance of a very large Small Heath, having almost non-existent spots. In north-west England, however, the form davus has richer, redder wings and looks a bit like a Ringlet as its spots on the underside of its wings are very distinct. One of the main reasons I like this butterfly is that it is one of the few species that do not reside in southern England! Hurray for the hardy heaths!
Becky

FLORA
I made a list and lost it

BIRDS
Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Shag, Whinchat, Stonechat, Dunnock, Yellowhammer, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Willow Warbler, Rock Dove, Song Thrush, Snipe, Coal Tit, Redpoll, Chaffinch, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Skylark, Black Guillemot, Common Sandpiper, Wren, Mute Swan

MAMMALS
Grey Seal, Red Deer, Wild Goat

CRUSTACEANS AND ROCKPOOL CREATURES
Piecrust Crab, Worm Pipefish, Snakelocks Anemone, Beadlet Anemone, Shore Crab, Butterfish, Hermit Crab, Brittlestar, Chiton

INSECTS AND INVERTEBRATES
Bombus lucorum, Bombus pascourum, Bombus monticola, Carabus glabratus, Dung Beetle, Grasshopper spp, Chimney Sweeper, Northern Eggar, Cinnabar Moth, Wood Tiger Moths, Dark Green Fritillary, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Small Heath, Large Heath, Ringlet, Green-veined White, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Large Red Damselfly, Keeled Skimmer, Wolf Spider, Orb Weaver Spider

REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS
Common Frog, Common Toad, Common Lizard, Adder

Bombus monticola - Bilberry Bumblebee - restricted to northern and western Britain

Carabus glabratus

Large Heath - much bigger than Small Heath. Its underside spots are definitely present, but rather indistinct

Orb Weaver Spider with prey - a Wood Tiger Moth

Red Deer at Bolsa with Colonsay in the background

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