Thursday, 12 August 2010

Terrific butterfly site

The fishing pond belonging to the Farm Shop at the top of Clifton has masses of thistles around it. Although it has gone mostly to seed, there are fresh flowers opening, mostly on the creeping thistle.
Today the thistle nectar was being used by many of the 9 species of butterfly there.
Most numerous were gatekeepers (which I have only seen as singles before) and small coppers.
There were 6 peacocks in view at the same time. Others were:
Small Tortoiseshell
Green Veined white
Large White
Small skipper
Meadow Brown
Speckled Wood (in Jay House Lane.)
I'm afraid I climb over 2 barbed wire fences, entering from Jay House Lane. The proper entrance will be up at the farm. There has never been any anglers, but I go mid-day, weekdays.
The other main interest here is the only known tree sparrow colony in Calderdale.


TheBaldIbis said...

Cheers for the heads up on this site Steve. Sadly, I was at work when I got your message and it has done nothing but rain ever since. Hopefully, there may be a brief respite to enable me to get some footage this weekend. Forecast looks grim but fingers crossed.

TheBaldIbis said...

Numbers were not as good when I went up on Saturday, Steve. The clouds were keeping everything down.
Green-veined whites were most numerous. Only had about 4 Gatekeepers, a few Meadow Browns, several Speckled Woods, 1 Small Skipper, 1 x Peacock and maybe 10 or so Small Coppers.
The farmer was mowing his field, so I was viewing from the roadside. I hope he leaves the thistles.
One really productive spot was a patch of some kind of Knapweed (looks like a thistle-less thistle) growing by the roadside. It was covered with butterflies, several bee species and loads of hoverflies. Most of the thistles in the fields are going to seed, so the Knapweed (?) flowers provided a good feeding station
I didn't see any large whites and have not seen any anywhere for donkies years. I was beginning to think that they (and small whites) were in serious decline owing to pesticide use on Brassicas.