Saturday 2 July 2011

Friday 1st July 2011 - Adder and Silver Washed Fritillary

Today was spent up in Rutland trying to get a pic of Adders. I had learnt that Ketton Quarry near Stamford was a good site and as the sun was shining I drove up to see what I could get. The area in question is a pile of rocks just next to the car park, and the initial search was in vain so I spent a few minutes searching the quarry area before returning. Lots of Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns and Small Heath butterflies were whizzing around and a lot of Common Spot Orchids could be seen poking up amongst the grasses as I made my way slowly back towards the pile of stones being very careful how I trod so as not to disturb her and there she was all curled up and enjoying the sunshine. Unfortunately she was a lot more alert than I anticipated and as soon as I got within photo distance she was off. So back off around the reserve I went, this time for a longer walk. It's a fantastic place for Butterflies and I'm sure any botonists would have a good day with the variety of plants and flowers. Up towards the working quarry section I managed to pick out this Bee Orchid in full flower.

Upon returning to the rocks she was out again but this time being very awkward and only have her back end on display. I grabbed a few record shots to show the diamond back pattern before she went back into the rock and slid around to the other side to stick her head out to take a look at me.

As time was getting on I had to give up to concentrate on the next target species of the day - Silver Washed Fritillary. For these I headed to another nearby site called Bedford Purlieus. The minute I waked into the wood one could be seen flitting around a bramble bush and walking further into the wood another could were found in quite a short distance. A single White Admiral was found and also a single Purple Hairstreak flying high up in the Oak canopy. Out of all the Silver Washed Fritillary's along the path it bacame clear that the best pictures would be obtained from the first one just inside the wood due to it's proximity to the path so I returned to find it still feeding away. The technique of standing in one place and letting it come to you seemed to work best and gradually as it worked it's way along the Bramble flowers it eventually settled right infront of me allowing me to get a few shots.

All in all a good day out. Shame the Adder was so shy though!!

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