Saturday, 16 June 2018

Day 5 - A lazy morning, scarlet tiger moths, orchids and tiny spiders

On Friday I opted for a lazy morning, then after lunch we returned to Powerstock  Common calling at the Kingcombe Centre to see the Scarlet Tiger Moths on the way.  I was very impressed by the spectacular tiger moths which responded to  a gentle nudge with a finger tip by displaying their spectacular under wings and body which give the their name. many of them were coupling, so easy to  move to a more convenient leaf.

Then we went on to Powerstock Common where I was delighted to see more orchids - Heath Spotted,  the white variant of the Common Spotted and a lovely specimen Bee Orchid and, on the beastie front, a Cucumber Spider, and another spider whose name I didn't discover.




Friday, 15 June 2018

Day 4 - Infra Red and some more Bugs

Thursday morning was wet and miserable, so our group went in different directions - some in search of the elusive Dorchester Abbey (100 miles away in Dorchester on Thames, not the local town!),  others went to a swannery, but four of us went first to Hooke Park in search of misty-moisty atmospheric conditions.  As soon as we arrived there, the rain stopped and shortly afterwards, the sun came out! I took my infra red body and got atmosphere if not Mist & Moist!  I also captured some nature photographers in action!

Next we went to Powerstock Common which, as the morning warmed, was teeming with insects.  I was also very impressed with the sheer numbers of wild orchids - mostly Common Spotted, but nonetheless impressive for one used to the grain lands of Cambridgeshire!

Shield Bugs

Marbled White Butterfly

Six spot Burnet Moth

Common Spotted Orchids

Day 3 - Cerne Abbas and Mapperton

Having climbed up to the meadows around the famous giant, we were rewarded with a very obliging Marsh Fritillary who posed for a long time on a dandelion, allowing many of us to get photographs from all angles.  We also found a Gold Ring dragon fly and Beautiful Demoiselles around the bridge over the stream near to the car park. The Pyramidal orchid was a record shot to remind me how to distinguish it from the Common Spotted  - both the shape and the fact that the petals are plain colour without any markings.  In the afternoon to Mapperton - the seat of the Earl of Sandwich, where we walked the gardens. One tiny bee with full pollen sacs busy on a daisy

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Butterflies Mostly - Studlands and Ballard Down

Today we went Studlands Nature Reserve, which was disappointing in terms of species seen - for me, a Large Red Damsel fly and a mysterious hairy fly which has been tentatively identified as a Coastal Silver Stiletto Fly - acrosathe annulata. Next we moved on to Swanage, but on the way three of us went onto Ballard Down where we saw (but failed to photograph!) Lolworth Skippers and photographed Common Blues and the rare Adonis Blue.  Thanks to Richard Revels who guided us and identified species for us.

Day 1 - Orchids In Deepest Dorset for Nature Photograph

I spent most of Monday dodging traffic jams to get to Higher Kingcombe in the depths of Dorset.  After supper went on a walk to see the orchids in a nearby meadow.  All common spotted orchids in a meadow bristling with wild flowers - the only other flower in this set is a bird's foot trefoil (thank you Ann!) spotted amongst a host of buttercups.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

More of the Bee Orchids

I returned to the bee orchids to see how they are doing tonight - still a few with just buds, but more with two open flowers.  As I lay prostrate on the pavement in the rain, I wondered if a car would stop to ask if I was ok!  Fortunately not.  These shots were taken with a very small amount of flash to try to lift the orchids from the background.


Sunday, 3 June 2018

Bee Orchids are back … and much more!

I went for a walk around Great Wilbraham and out to Little WIlbraham and was pleased with the number of wild flowers that I was able to photograph without leaving the footpath.

My first aim was to see if the Bee Orchids between Great and Little W were in evidence and I was pleased to find that they are just coming into flower.  There were some lovely dog roses flowering in the hedgerows as well as poppies, brambles, clover and many species which I can't identify

I just hope that the Roads Department manage to resist chopping down the orchids this year - last year when every stem had four or five flowers on, they came through with a mechanical strimmer.