Saturday, 17 October 2020

If you go down to the woods today... (Abruzzo September 2020)

A few weeks before Italy was moved into high risk again I managed to get to Abruzzo with Naturetrek.

I was a great holiday despite the various covid restrictions but those didn't detract from my enjoyment.

The hotel was in a lovely location on the outskirts of Pescasseroli surrounded by pines and a nice garden.

I didn't do very well with birds although highlights must be Golden Eagle, Western Bonelli's Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Alpine & Red-billed Chough and Water Pipit, but it was made up by the number of butterflies with quite a few new ones but best of all was 2 Marsican Brown Bears (hence the title of this blog entry).

Another new mammal was Abruzzo Chamois but it took some climbing to see those, and on the last day a large sounder (26 animals) of Wild Boar was seen near the hotel.

I would love to go back to this region in the late spring/summer for orchids and other butterflies.

Here are a selection of photos (there are two Brown Bears - one seen in the morning and one in the evening at GioiaVecchio)

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Noar Hill, Broxhead Common, Tice's Meadow - the return (22nd August 2020)

On a blustery day I tried one more time for Brown Argus and Silver-studded Blue at Noar Hill and Broxhead Common respectively with no success.

Highlights were fly over Raven at Noar Hill, 3 Crossbills at Broxhead Common and Southern Hawker at Tice's Meadow on the path as I was leaving

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Damp and dingy (Noar Hill, Broxhead Common & Tice's Meadow)

The weather was very overcast and damp so very little optimism on seeing anything on the butterfly front but i needed to get out so went anyway and was right - very little seen - the highlights being some new flowers for my growing plant list.

Skippers & L Emperor in the scorchio heat (9th August 2020, Butser Hill & Tice's Meadow)

 After I managed to finally somewhere to park without having to pay an extortionate amount of money I spent a pleasant couple of hours looking for butterflies and got the hoped for Silver-spotted Skippers.

I then moved to Tice's Meadow for the hoped for Lesser Emperor and was pleasantly surprised to see 3 of them even with a pair ovipositing in front of the hide.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Stockbridge Down, Shipton Bellinger (1st August 2020)

Stockbridge Down as a new place for me and was very good for butterflies although still no Silver-spotted Skippers although they were supposed to be there.  I've been to Shipton Bellinger before but very many years ago.

I great selection of butterflies at Stockbridge Down and two cracking Adonis Blue's.

After a great deal of perseverance a Brown Hairstreak suddenly popped up from nowehere and stayed long enough to photograph it.

Unbelievably, I was watching for  hairstreaks along a hedgerow on the border of a massive field.  I had a telescope, a camera and binoculars so was obviously nature watching and needed a little peace and quiet.  A guy in a van drives up, parks within 50 yards of me and then spends the next hour walking his dogs with one particular noisy individual.  Why he couldn't park in another area of the field defeats me!