Saturday, 27 June 2015

30 Days Wild | Day 27 - wonderful Rowley Hills

I'd been looking forward to day 27 of 30 Days Wild - I was going on a guided walk around the Rowley Hills organised by the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country, led by plant and butterfly expert Mike Poulton. I'd been plugging the walk too through the Friends of Rowley Hills, the relatively-newly formed group I'm involved with, and it was great to see so many people there - 25 in all. It's important we spread the word about how awesome the Rowley Hills are as they are in fragmented ownership and threatened by development.

Today we were hoping to see plenty of butterflies, including the site speciality Marbled White, and some nice wildflowers - including hopefully rediscovering the Bee Orchid I found last year. The walk more than lived up to our expectations! The weather was great for butterflies - warm, quite still, and mostly sunny. We saw six butterfly species - Ringlet, Large Skipper, Marbled White, Common Blue, Small Heath and Small Tortoiseshell; the Marbled Whites I think had just started to emerge, there were not many but they looked very fresh and smart. We also saw some day-flying moths - Five- and Six-spot Burnets, Burnet Companion and Latticed Heath; and bird-wise there were plenty of Whitethroats singing from the Hawthorn scrub, singing Chiffchaff and Blackcap, a Dunnock feeding its young, lots of House Martins feeding overhead, and a brief Kestrel. Not only did I re-find the Bee Orchid, someone else tracked down another one nearby - result! Here are some photos of the walk!

Small but perfectly formed, Bee Orchid 1 (Ophrys apifera).

Bee Orchid 2 (Ophrys apifera).

The Rowley Hills.

Everyone getting stuck in.

The Rowley Hills.
A very obliging Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) butterfly.
Glorious Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) butterfly.
A small Common Toad (Bufo bufo)!
Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) butterfly.
The Rowley Hills.

No comments:

Post a Comment