....is as good as a rest my old grandma used to say. Where do we go today then - was the question BT asked JB/PW - should we try Foulshaw Moss and maybe butterflies at Witherslack was the reply and off we went. But first we called in at Hale Moss to a reserve managed by a group who at this moment in time I know not but understand has a Cumbria connection. We saw more butterflies in an hour here than I've seen in the past two (poor) years, though not in species numbers - and I did commit the sin of not counting - we did find at least 80 Small Skipper, probably an equal number of Meadow Brown, a 'few' Speckled Wood, two Painted Lady one pristine and the other almost extinct, and a single Small Tortoiseshell which appear to be in short supply if not in serious trouble. This place wasn't alive with Dragonflies but an Emperor Dragonfly and a Four- spotted Chaser were of note. Two Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk were over head during the visit. So now we call in on Marsh Lane to see if we can connect with Yellow Wagtail which JB and I have tried on one previous occasion this year but failed miserably as we did today mainly due to a large pipe laying operation taking place here, so I have no idea of the YW situation in 2009 at this location though I have seen the bird/s reported on the LDBWS website recently.
On arrival at Foulshaw Moss - and ignoring an 'opening times' notice attached to the gate - we drove to the car park area were we was greeted by a contractor who politely pointed out the work being carried out here whilst advising us that the place was out of bounds......we promptly left and potential visitors please take note. So our day was already taking on one of mixed fortunes because now we are on our way to see butterflies like the beautiful Silver - washed Fritillary at Witherslack but the sun has 'done a runner' and it is decidedly cooler......no chance and after almost an hour here we left empty handed and now its becoming a bit depressing!
Last port of call and we are now at Latterbarrow were the knowledgeable BT points out the various wildflowers which I fail to write down - aren't I clever - but did note a pristine Comma butterfly and a Small Pearl - bordered Fritillary......Now we're on our way home thankful in the knowledge that we are surrounded by beautiful places to visit all of which have beautiful creatures to see......but the conditions often have to be right for some of them.
The pic is of Common Mallow at Latterbarrow.