Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Chasers, No Time to Stop and Stare

At Powerstock there are several ponds dotted around the reserve, we found three yesterday, all different from each other; the first was very clear, the second was covered in Duck weed, the third was full of Bogbean.  At two of them, there were quite large dragonflies flying around, the Four-spotted Chaser.  These dragonflies were constantly on the move, chasing off rivals, mating and laying eggs, no time to stop and rest for too long, time is very short for them. 

Four-spotted Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly

Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly (2)

Bogbean, which was in one of the ponds

Newts.  This pond was so clear that you could see all the newts swimming around

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Marsh Fritillary

Powerstock nature reserve is brilliant in its variety of habitats and wildlife.  Today we took a trip to Powerstock nature reserve to hunt for the Marsh Fritillary butterfly and we found them.  They are smaller than I expected.  When I have seen pictures of them, they are usually close up pictures so the size of the butterfly (and other creatures) can be deceptive, larger than what they actually are.  But although the butterfly is small, it is a beautiful butterfly and Powerstock is one of its stronghold.  Dorset Wildlife Trust has been working hard on this reserve to provide the right conditions for this butterfly to thrive.

Marsh Fritillary (2)

Marsh Fritillary (3)

Marsh Fritillary (5)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Fontmell Down Nature Reserve

Fontmell Down is Dorset Wildlife Trust's nature reserve and also the National Trusts and is part of the  North Dorset Downs.  It has spectacular views across the Blackmore Vale.  I will say the part that the Dorset Wildlife Trust owns is the better part, the National Trust part is mostly farmland.   I was going to take a flask of tea with us, but my OH said we did not need it because he thought the walk would not be long - wrong!  We had a very long walk, up and down steep slopes, by the end of it I was gasping for my tea.  Fortunately, not far away, there is a cafe in a small aerodrome where they fly small  planes for pleasure trips and also give flying lessons.  Fontmell Down is now added to our list of places to visit regularly.

My best picture of 2010 so far, a fox cub.  This is my first picture of a fox.  This little chap had obviously decided to do a bit of exploring, like us.
Fox Cub

Fontmell Down, this part is the Dorset Wildlife Trust's nature reserve
Fontmell Down reserve

Grizzled Skipper
Grizzled Skipper

Dingy Skipper
Dingy Skipper (3)

Cowslip.  On one side of the Down was covered with Cowslips, whereas the otherside was covered with Milkwort and Early Purple Orchid.  Quite a variety of wildflowers.
Cowslips (5)

Difficult to capture the scale of the area covered in Cowslips, but I have never seen so many Cowslips in one area, fantastic to see.
Cowslips (3)

The sloping area that is covered with Cowslips, this is only a small area of it that I could capture.
Cowslips (2)

Early Purple Orchid
Early Purple Orchid

Common Twayblade.  This is an orchid and it is suppose to be common, this is the first time I have seen one of these.  It does not look very exciting and could be easily overlooked.  This area has nine different orchids.
Common Twayblade Orchid

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Today is Orange and Green Day:-)

Had a great day out at Martin Down nature reserve, I got my Orange Tip butterfly and the Green Hairstreak butterfly:-)  We took a trip to the reserve in hopes of finding the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, I think it maybe another week or so before we see these.  But we had a great time with the Green Hairstreak butterfly, it is the first time we have seen these.  We then went to the Cranborne garden centre for our tea and cake, and afterwards we went for another walk in the woods in Edmondsham, where the Bluebells are brilliant now and their colour is intense.

My first capture of the Orange tip butterfly
Orange Tip butterfly

The green jewel amongst the yellow Gorse, the Green Hairstreak butterfly.  My OH is great at spotting things, I seem to walk around in a dream, he sharper than me when it comes to spotting the butterflies.
Green Hairstreak butterfly

A closer view of the Green Hairstreak
Green Hairstreak butterfly (2)

When the sunlight catches their wings, they shimmer. 
Green Hairstreak butterfly (3)

These are the males of the Green Hairstreak butterfly, there was at least three and they were doing a bit of squabbling.
Green Hairstreak butterfly (4)

Different shades of green
Green Hairstreak butterfly (5)

We had to have our fix of Bluebells.  These Bluebells are reaching their best, their colour is very intense.
Bluebells (3)