25 Jun 18

Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve

There seems to be no end to this incredibly hot and sunny weather, and this afternoon I took a walk to the Broadcroft Quarry Butterfly Reserve here and an excellent patch on the opposite side of the the lane here.

Very few birds about with just 2 Common Buzzards over and a Common Whitethroat scolding me as I got to close to a Gorse Bush.

There were good numbers of butterflies on the wing with dozens of Marbled WhitesMeadow Browns and Ringlets. There seemed to be a bit of a population explosion of Marbled Whites, they were everywhere.

Other butterflies about included 2 Small Heaths, 5 Speckled Woods, 3 Common Blues, several Large Skippers and my first Gatekeeper of the year. The star must go to what I believe is a Silver Studded Blue. I hope so as this would be my first on Portland. See Images below for UPDATE.

On the moth front there were dozens of Six-spot Burnet moths on the wing, a Mother Shipton and lots of Twin-barred Knot-horns.

Lots of busy bees about with Common Carder Bees and Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees out in good numbers.

Other invertebrates seen included Swollen-thighed Beetles (Oedemera nobilis), Common Red Soldier Beetles (aka Hogweed Bonking Beetle, Rhagonycha fulva), Mimic Bee Hoverfly (Volucella bombylans), an Ichneumon Wasp (Ichneumon sarcitorius) and a female Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum).

There were many Pyramidal orchids (Anacamptis pyramidalis) in flower and as always I came across another flower to ID, which turns out is a Musk Mallow (Malva Moschata)

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

One of two Common Buzzards over the island this afternoon.

A very pale individual.

It was good day for butterflies and especially Marbled Whites.

And the Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)..........

.........seemed to be the chosen plant to feed on today.

My first Gatekeeper of the year.

A Ringlet.

Large Skipper

A Common Blue. Or so I thought, but I have since been told that this is a Silver Studded Blue.......

I hope I've got this one right a male Silver Studded Blue, but are those underwing markings right for a SSB! And it is, so happy days, two Silver Studded Blues, my first verified SSB's on Portland

Six-spot Burnet moth.

and another.

A Mimic Bee Hoverfly, Volucella bombylans.......

.........and another.

Ichneumon sarcitorius

Common Red Soldier Beetles

Can you spot it!!

A female Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum.

This is only the second one I have seen Portland. And the first one was a female as well.

The view looking south towards Bumpers Lane.

Pyramidal orchid, Anacamptis pyramidalis

A distinctive looking Orchid and fairly widespread on Portland.

I have no idea what plant this is..........

......the flowers look like mallow, but the leaves suggest something else. And after a bit of research it turns out it is a Musk Mallow. Well I got one bit right. More on this plant Here.