Saturday, 31 August 2013

Maiden's Blush - Darley Dale

I'm just back from a fortnight's holiday, whilst I've been away Simon sent me this photo of a Maiden's Blush trapped in Darley Dale on 24th August. This moth is commoner in the south of the county but scarce in the Peak District. It's close relative the Clay Triple-lines has appeared more regularly in recent years so maybe the Maiden's Blush is also moving north.
Maiden's Blush (Simon Roddis)

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Beeley Moor at dusk

The heather is almost in full bloom now so the moor is assuming its annual purple cloak. This photo is an HDR (high dynamic range), that's three photos at different settings combined in to one which avoids having a dark foreground or light sky.
Beeley Moor at dusk (HDR)

Monday, 12 August 2013

Common Darter

Another couple of photos from the weekend; female Common Darter at Clough Wood and the male by my pond at home. Although I've seen a reasonable variety of dragonfly this year numbers have generally been low.
Common Darter - female
Common Darter - immature male

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Black Darter - Wragg's Quarry

My first Black Darter of the year this morning with at least 4 males and several females around the pool. The Black Darter favours acidic moorland pools so numbers are restricted by the availability of this habitat.
Black Darter - male

Black Darter - female ovipositing with male in tandem

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Fox Moth caterpillar

Came across several Fox Moth caterpillars on sphagnum moss this morning, not entirely sure what they were doing, they over-winter as a caterpillar so perhaps need the moisture they looked fully grown.

Fox Moth

Merlin - Beeley Moor

A bit better for birds this morning, I was greeted by 7 Crossbills over the garden whilst checking the moth trap with a similar number on Flash Lane and further parties over Beeley Triangle and at Hellbank Plantation. My first Merlin since the Spring was a welcome sighting though a little distant and Ken picked up a Red Kite over Harewood Moor which we lost heading in the direction of the Red Lion.

Beautiful Hook-tip - Darley Dale

Another Derbyshire rarity, the Beautiful Hook-tip and my first garden record last night, although I know Simon had caught it previously in Darley Dale. Not the finest specimen but easily identified, this is a lichen feeder and has benefited from the cleaner air in recent years.
Beautiful Hook-tip

Devon Carpet and more on White-lettered Hairstreak

I have previously caught Devon Carpet in Clough Wood on 2 occasions but news that Simon had taken one in his garden in Darley Dale is probably an indication of how well established the species is locally and gives me hope of adding it to my garden list.
Simon also had White-lettered Hairstreak in his garden a couple of days ago which clearly indicates there are other colonies in the area.
Devon Carpet (Simon Roddis)

Northern Rustic - Via Gellia

Simon has continued his run of good records with this Northern Rustic taken in the Via Gellia at the start of the month, he caught 20 Barred Carpet the same evening which is a great record of this scarce species which is designated Nationally Scarce A, which means it is only known from 16-30 10km squares in GB.
Northern Rustic (Simon Roddis)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

White-letter Hairstreak - update

Further to the post below, I managed to have a look on Lumb Lane this afternoon and found a single White-letter Hairstreak at the very end of the lane by the Girl Guides house. Unfortunately it wasn't in as good a condition as Doug's below but still good to see. I thought I might be able to do the double with Purple Hairstreak and went to Clough Wood but despite seeing 3 or 4 in the tops of the Oaks by the stream I couldn't get a photo so that's still on the to do list.
White-letter Hairstreak

White-letter Hairstreak - Darley Hillside

I was cycling over the moor last week and met Doug Aston who was searching for moths to photograph. We discussed the status of White-letter Hairstreak, Doug had not seen the species locally for many years and I have never recorded it in the area. Last night I met Doug again and he had much more positive news on the hairstreak having seen at least three earlier in the day on Lumb Lane, and kindly sent the excellent photo below.
The White-letter Hairstreak suffered a serious decline following Dutch Elm disease but appears to be widely distributed but in small number across Derbyshire. It is doubtless under recorded, I must have been up and down Lumb Lane hundreds of times over the years with plenty of visits in the June-August flight period, usually on my bike so I am a bit distracted going up the hill which is my only excuse.
White-letter Hairstreak (Doug Aston)

Monday, 5 August 2013

More photos of Water Vole

The weather was poor yesterday, dull and overcast in the morning with rain most of the afternoon. 
When it was dry I returned to Caudwells Mill and quickly found an obliging Water Vole. The light was poor but shooting at ISO 1600 still produced a decent result with the 5D III which would have been impossible with the 7D. 
I was surprised at just how agile the vole was on the stem of the flowering Hemp Agrimony. It stood in its hind legs at one point to reach across to a neighbouring stem.

Water Vole

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Water Vole - Caudwells Mill

Three sightings of Water Vole on the river and around the mill this morning, also a family party of Tufted Duck which is the first I have seen so locally. 
I had over 50 Crossbill over the house a couple of mornings ago so fingers crossed for more in the weeks to come.
Water Vole

Return to the Round-leaved Sundew

The Round-leaved Sundew is my favourite plant, although only tiny they look striking when seen up close. They are just coming in to flower so I will be having another look next week.
Round-leaved Sundew

Grey Chi - Beeley Moor

I caught a single Grey Chi at home on Wednesday evening then came across another sat on a wall on the moor, which is there normal habitat, this morning. There are colour variations in the Grey Chi but the local ones all tend to look like this. The names refers to the black marking on the centre of the wing which resembles the Greek letter Chi.
Grey Chii

Common Hawker again in Wragg's Quarry

I popped in to Wragg's Quarry on Thursday evening to check on the water level in the pond, it's now over flowed the normal pond area. The male Common Hawker was still present and I couldn't resist taking a few more photos in different lighting conditions. I have seen a female but she doesn't stay around the pond much.
Common Hawker - male

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