Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Utterly Butterly

With decorating ruling my life at the minute i decided to give it a miss on Sunday and drag myself out for some fresh air and a stretch of the legs. On arrival at Druridge Pools the weather was very pleasant and i was blown away with the activity going on all around on the walk to the Oddie Hide. The walls of the embankments were alive with insects, it seemed to be that everything had decided to take advantage with the warmer conditions. There are large numbers of Teasel here and they were awash with butterflies mainly Peacocks and Red Admirals but i did pick up a lone Painted Lady, my first this year. Large numbers of Wall Browns were not only on the vegetation but scattered around on the ground favouring the bare patches of earth with huge numbers of Whites, mainly Green-veined occupying the smaller flora. Other notable insects included various species of Bees, Hoverflies and Moths. The occasional Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselfly along with a couple of Common Darters represented the Odonata.
It was a bit quieter however looking out from the hide. On the water there was nothing exceptional, but i was enjoying a Little Grebe going about its business immediately in front of the congregation of four. It was Sunday, after all. A couple of Common Sandpiper were keeping one of the avian disciples entertained as they periodically chased each other about on the rocky foreshore. One of which would fly off briefly and land on a rock on the edge of the water to our left before coming back onto the ground and searching in the vegetation before the process would repeat. The guy in question letting out the occasional mild expletive as he had missed his target again. A Snipe was close by having its Sunday morning lie in and was not at all disturbed by these antics.
A Peacock, the most striking of butterflies in my opinion.
Red Admiral, there were some "prettier" examples i captured but the folds on the rear wings caught my eye.
Red Admiral again, this time showing the fantastic under wing markings.
........and finally a Painted Lady. This specimen looked almost washed out compared to the other species about but it is that long since i last saw one i can't remember if that's how they do actually look.


  1. Remarkable markings on that R Admiral under-wing John.
    I've only seen one Painted Lady also this summer and oddly enough, that was in the garden. Not a good year for them. Cheers Brian.

  2. Hi Brian,
    It was nice to see so many butterflies out in one place, the best turn out i think i've seen this year. You can't blame the Painted Ladies for giving the UK a miss this year. They must have been keeping an eye on the forecasts.

  3. John,

    its the same here, only 1 Painted Lady seen at Kibblesworth a couple of weeks ago. Hope your enjoying your decorating and when you have finished your training and get to a good enough standard I might let you come round and give my room an undercoat (wink, wink)


  4. When i say decoratingi'm actually burning off and sanding old paintwork at the minute. Great fun.......if you want any paint burning off you know where to go.

  5. In the second photo, the butterfly resembles a small bat. :) Have you noticed a particularly large number of ladybirds this year?

  6. It looks as if the wings have developed like that during the metamorphosis but obviously no problems flying.
    I've seen a few ladybirds but i must admit that i've not noticed excessive numbers in Northumberland. (When i've not been burning off or sanding paintwork)

  7. We like the butterfly shots, we have not managed many this year as there seems to have been very few around here.