Thursday, 24 July 2014

A Day of Butterflies and Dragonflies in North Yorkshire.

The sea fret was just beginning to burn off as Roger and I pulled into the parking spot at Fen Bog Nature Reserve just off the A169 Pickering to Whitby Road on the North Yorkshire Moors.  The Lyke Wake Walk crosses the moors at this point on its way to Robin Hood's Bay from Osmotherly and the North York Moors Steam Railway runs through the valley bottom.  We had driven up from Lincolnshire with three target species in mind: golden ringed dragonfly, small pearl bordered fritillary and keeled skimmer and three locations to try.  We began our search by walking down the hill and exploring the main bog to the south of the reserve.  Although we spotted a couple of golden ringed this did not prove very productive.  At this point we thought this was where we needed to be searching so, not being successful, we opted to try the other two locations and then, if necessary return to Fen Bog.  Dundale Pond was a short drive away and easy to find. Again, though, there were no golden ringed although we did find large numbers of black darter dragonflies, a first for me this year.  The idea now was to try Tranmire Bog but, not only were we unable to find golden ringed we couldn't find the bog either so returned to Fen Bog.  Here we had been told to search a different part of the reserve and this time found the small pearl bordered fritillaries, although they were now somewhat worn.  I also enjoyed photographing the plentiful bog ashphodel and heath spotted orchids.  Having spoken to some other insect hunters we had now located Tranmire Bog so off we went.  Success at last: a couple of golden ringed and pleasing images of a female ovipositing in the peaty waters of Wheeldale Beck.  We also found keeled skimmers which perched accommodatingly on the sticks I placed for them to settle on.

A tiring but satisfying day.

To view large, please click on an image.
Black Darter
Black Darter
Bog Ashphodel
Female golden ringed dragonfly ovipositing
Heath Spotted Orchid
Golden Ringed Dragonfly
Keeled Skimmer
Keeled Skimmer
Keeled Skimmer
Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary
Small Skipper

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