I would like to open this post with an apology to my readers for my tardiness, of late, in responding to posts on your blog and replying to your comments on my blog. Life has been a bit full-on over the past few weeks. The reasons for this are mainly good, but some are not so good. Hopefully an element of sanity will return soon.
This blog post features a single visit to a location that, although in the same county as our residence, is just over 50 miles (80 km) from home.
Ketton Quarry, an SSSI, is a favoured location for butterflies and I was keen to get there to see if I could catch up with Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper, and Grizzled Skipper butterflies. The day was forecast to be warm and sunny, if a bit breezy, but I knew that there would be sheltered areas where I might have some success. I packed up a picnic lunch and set off.
The cross-country journey to Ketton was, disappointingly, uneventful, apart from an enjoyable chat with some old friends who once hosted one of my Little Owl sites on their farm, until the tree came down in a gale.
At Ketton Quarry, I had a quick look around the small meadow area just inside the entrance gate, and was pleased to find a day-flying moth, for which Ketton Quarry is a stronghold for this species.
|Burnet Companion (Euclidia glyphica) - Ketton Quarry|
I was expecting to see butterflies, but I didn't. However, what I was not expecting was to get my first photo of the year of a dragonfly. This Four-spotted Chaser was very cooperative!
|Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) (male) - Ketton Quarry|
|Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) (male) - Ketton Quarry|
|Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) (male) - Ketton Quarry|
|Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) (female) - Ketton Quarry|
I managed a shot of a female Brimstone which, on looking at the photo, seems to be ovipositing.
|Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) (female) - Ketton Quarry|
I then headed back to the entrance meadow, and took the track that runs up through a gully to the north of the site. Although a few interesting items, mainly butterflies, were seen, no photos were taken, and on reaching the point where the gully gully ends with a steep climb up to a higher level, this looked so muddy and hazardous that I went no further. It was time to return to my car for my picnic and a rest!
After lunch, I went back up to the Green Hairstreak hedge, where the Holly Blue was still in charge, but again failed to see Green Hairstreak. Someone was down in the quarry area to the south-west, so it was time to visit the meadow area on the south-east side of the path. This has been a good area for Grizzled and Dingy Skippers in the past.
My first sighting here was of a Green Hairstreak, although it was in less than perfect condition.
|Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) - Ketton Quarry|
|Mother Shipton (Callistege mi) - Ketton Quarry|
|Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) - Ketton Quarry|
|Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus malvae) - Ketton Quarry|
David told me he had seen a Dingy Skipper in the area that I had just come from and, after we parted company, I spotted one.
|Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) - Ketton Quarry|
|Common Twayblade (Neottia ovata) - Ketton Quarry|
|Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) (male) - Ketton Quarry|
I had now been out considerably longer than I had expected, so I headed home via the speediest route, rather than my usual countryfied route. It had been a splendid day out.
As seems to be the norm these days, my next blog post will probably be in about a week's time. I suspect that it will feature a visit to a rather special location. In the meantime, please take good care of yourselves and Nature.