At last we have a lovely warm Saturday, and our brief Summer has returned if only for one day. A good chance to get along the coast and spot some Butterflies and any day flying Moth's.
Berry Head has a wonderful varierty of Wildlife, and can count on a list of 28 different species of Butterfly along with some rare Wildfloers. One favourite wildflower of mne here is the rare White-Rock Rose, which seems to appear early Spring then disapears for a while then re-appearing around this time.
Above: The White Rock Rose, rare in the South West so it is quite special to see this flower every Spring and Summer.
No secret I have a passion for our 'Angels of the Summer' and with the Weather now set fair today, it was my aim to spend all day walking along the coastline from Berry Head to Kingswear taking note the Butterfly Species and also number and behaviour. One regret in my life is that I should have studied entomology in my younger years.
First Butterflies of the morning were the Speckled Woods, and there were plenty to be seen either basking in the Sun or on the Wing.
I had hoped to see my first Wall species today, and I did not have to wait for very long, I found this one in a sheltered sunny warm spot, not the pefect specimen but my first of the Summer.
With so many wildflowers to be seen and identified sometimes you come across one and you are left stumped..in my younger years I could name all the Wildflowers, but then I moved to Birds, Butterflies and Dragonflies..
After a stop for a refreshing drink and to also bask in the warm sun time to move on, Butterflies were now to be seen almost everywhere, Gatekeepers and Small Whites. Above Barn Swallows were passing through. The odd Whitethroat was seen, but the bird song has now gone for the time being now that the main part of the breeding season could be over.
Below, I found this Six Spotted Burnet feeding on nectar and it looked quite a picture with the bright yellow.
This coastline walk is one of mny favourites and I have walked it so many times now that I sometimes can trace every step in a dream...
The shot below is of Mansands (click on the photo for a larger image). It is quite a steep climb here and the coastline from this point on is similar so plenty of water is required on a warm day like this was.
Not far along I found this mating pair of Gatekeepers, with the female top of the photo. By this time the number of Gatekeepers was quite high.
After stopping to take in some water, a very bright Butterfly fluttered past me and landed on a leaf in the full sun, the Comma Butterfly one of my all time favourites..you may ask how did the Comma get it's name, well here is the photo to answer your question, click on the photo for a larger image. You will see a White Comma on it's wing and that's how it got it's name. a truly lovely Butterfly.
It has been extinct in Scotland since the 1870's but is now moving far north every year, won't be long now before the Comma makes a comeback to Scotland.
This Bee was far too busy to take any notice of me, look carefully and you can see he is covered in pollen.
Nearing the end of my journey today, been walking along the coast now for over 4 hours taking note of Butterfly species, a full list will appear at the bottom of the page. Near forward point a Small Tortoiseshell made a perfect shot as basked and drank nectar...
And finally just heading along from Forward Point looking through the undergrowth for Adders or Grass Snakes, a surprise not seen any today it was the perfect day to see one.
Last shot of the day was another Six Spotted Burnet, not really a Butterfly as such but a delightful day flying Moth...
BUTTERFLY SPECIES LIST
Speckled Wood = 36
Wall = 6
Marbled White = 2
Ringlet = 2
Red Admiral = 11
Gatekeeper = 118
Small White = 22
Large White = 9
Peacock = 2
Comma = 3
Grayling = 2
Small Copper = 5
Small Tortoiseshell = 2