Friday, 26 May 2017

Beautiful Yoesden

I made the most of the glorious weather and paid my first visit of the year to wonderful Yoesden this morning. It really is such a magical place. Before I even reached the reserve, my spirits were lifted by the sight of this little cowshed in the middle of a beautiful meadow full of daisies and buttercups. The red kites were soaring overhead and the swallows were chasing insects around the meadow (and hopefully nesting again in the cowshed).

I walked down to the reserve and it didn't take long before I saw a flash of electric blue and there was my first Adonis blue of the year. They're beautiful little butterflies and very rare, having very specific habitat requirements. Yoesden is one of the local special places to see them.

They can look similar to a common blue, but they are a brighter blue and the
white edges of the wings are cut through with black lines
There were lots flying, but it was very hot and quite breezy, so they were whizzing around, not settling for long. I accidentally disturbed a pair that were mating, so they took off into the air, still joined together and landed on my top. I let them walk onto my finger, before carefully placing them onto a stalk of grass.

With their wings closed they can be quite hard to tell apart from common blues,
but I think the black lines through the white wing edges (on the left butterfly) make
these Adonis blues. The one on the right was a bit battered and had lost its white edges.

Safely returned to a stalk of grass
While I was there, I saw three types of blue, as there were common blues and small blues flying. Won't be long until the chalkhill blues emerge, then you can see all four there. 
Small blue - they really are tiny 
There were also brimstones, small heaths and dingy skippers flying and there were cardinal beetles in the grass.
Dingy skipper
Cardinal beetle
I sat on an ant hill and admired the view for a while. The common spotted orchids were starting to flower and the blues were fluttering all around me. It was lovely!

Common spotted orchids starting to flower. This one had a little crab spider on it.
The view from my ant hill

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