Friday, 1 March 2019

Large Tortoiseshell in Dorset

Date: 22th February - 28th February
Newton St Loe, Chew Valley, Weymouth, Portland.
Blue Skies, Temps rising to high teens!

Species Highlights:

Lesser Yellowlegs, Chiffchaff, Marsh Harrier, Great Crested Grebes, Mediterranean Gull.

Our pond has been filing up with Frogs and spawn and Lauren took some excellent photos.

A short video.

Took her many attempts but worth it i think.

Monday was working from home so next outing was 26/02.
Chew Valley and it was extremely quiet from all the hides this Goldcrest was my only photo. 

With so few Birds around decided to go to Bristol Airport a coffee and sat on the roof of my van and watch some Iron birds.

Going through Twitter noticed a Large Tortoiseshell butterfly was found at Portland Tout that was my day sorted tomorrow.

27/02/2019 7:30am
Allan Chard arrived at my house and we drove down to Dorset, first we popped into Lodmoor, couldn't find the Penduline Tit but the light was fantastic and we walked around the reserve to see what was about.

Little Egret in the sunny blue skies.

 The long staying Lesser Yellowlegs was showing very well

Even a few Chiffchaff were around, but with my thoughts thinking i don't wanna miss the LT we headed up to Tout Quarry.

On arriving at Tout Quarry the normally small car park was almost full, parking up we started the hunt we saw European Peacocks plus a fleeting glimpse of a Small White but no pictures so I can't count, after 2 hours and scouring the quarry, chatting to many people we spoke to a non birder/butterflyer she said is this it ??? It was and we rushed over to the area she saw it. No sign, I wander over rocks looking, Allan and Merv stayed in that area and you guessed it it showed up right in front Allan! 
I headed back to see everyone's pictures AARRGGG!
Allan sat down Merv went, I carried on when suddenly I spotted 2 Peacocks fighting mid air asking another guy was that just Peacocks he said yes but seconds later he said no its here!!

My first picture some 20 ft away, but a Large Tortoiseshell.

Managed to scramble down for a closer look.

OOO nice, My 85th Butterfly worldwide and only second butterfly of 2019!

A comparison of Small & Large

Small Tort./Wingspan  Male: 45 - 55 mm-Female: 52 - 62 mm
Large Tort./Wingspan Male: 68 - 72 mm -Female: 72 - 75 mm

The Robin was wondering what all the fuss was about, a great day and great addition to my butterfly list.

My 3rd photographed species this year was a European Peacock, this takes me to 3 species and I have decided I'm gonna try for  60 UK/migrant species this year the hunt continues.

After that excitement we dropped into Radipole for another look for that Ring Necked Duck, no sign, but  a few other species looked great in the continuing sunshine.

Marsh Harrier

A Great Crested Grebe looking as always splendid.

Even a Mating dance although we lost view to the weed wiggle.

Herring Gull.

 This Dunnock almost at end of lens , no crop required.

We searched the Ring Necked Duck normal spots but only saw these beautiful Pochard.

On way home another visit  to Lodmoor and the gulls were coming into roost with a few Med Gulls.

2 Spoonbill dropped in just in view and a year tick.

The Yellowlegs was even closer.

It knows it a great looking bird, just checking out reflection.

The Yellowlegs always seem to be very close to it friend the Leucistic Ruff, what that saying.... different birds of feather flock together, well close anyway.

A fabulous week with my highlight obviously being the Large Tortoiseshell.

Wayne's Year total= 126
Butterflies = 3
Lauren's Year Total= 120
Butterflies= 2

Thanks For Looking! 
  Thanks For All Your Support!

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