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Saturday, 23 August 2014

Butterfly Walk

Bee with orange pollen sac
I determined to repeat last year’s walk along the From the Weir, along the canal to the Boardwalk signed by The Weir as the Kingfisher walk until I reached coast then headed south along the South West Coast Path to beyond the Bay View before heading back to the Weir via their Rabbit walk through farmland.
Small Totroiseshell

In August 2013, on parts of this walk, I was impressed by the numbers and species of butterflies that we recorded.  Being 3 weeks later I was not sure what to expect.  The part of the walk that had attracted most butterflies was where there were brambles in flower.  This year, the brambles had produced blackberries and I was concerned we were too late.  However, my fears were unfounded, as the abundant flowers of Willow Herb Epilobium sp. and Common Fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica were proving just as attractive.
It was interesting to note the bees busily gathering Fleabane pollen.  Their pollen sacs were not the usual bright yellow, but showing a very strong orange.

Small Copper
In the short 20 minutes section of this walk, I counted 29 butterflies of 14 different species.  .  Species List for 2014

Common Blue
Cinnabar caterpillar, Clouded Yellow, Common  Blue, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Small Copper, Small Heath, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Speckled Wood,

This year we missed the Comma and Large White, but added Clouded Yellow, Small Heath and Ringlet,

Further on around the walk in the farmland area I saw further proof that summer was drawing to a close.  Hay had been gathered in and flocks of Carrion Crow, Woodpigeons and Linnets were gleaning the stubble.

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