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Days Twenty-four & Twenty-five of Megan & Matt Go Wild!


Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

Matt (in western Scotland)

Yesterday was a quiet day. We hung around the cottage and took a break from dashing about.

But even here that meant a couple of otter sightings and our regular evening visit of pine marten.

Today, we took a trip to one of my favourite places – Mull. It feels like it’s on a different level. On Mull you’re on constantly alert for anything that moves, and we saw porpoises (my first ever), otters, Mull’s famous sea eagles, a peregrine falcon, wheatears, twite and oystercatchers.

We also took the boat to Iona, where I got one of my biggest ever birding ticks – the rare and extremely elusive corncrake. It makes a sound like a comb being run against a desk.

Not only did we hear this bird, we even spotted someone in a front garden of one of the handful of houses of this tiny island community.

But alongside the wildlife, one of the best elements of this trip has been being surrounded by such knowledgeable people whom I have learned so much from. Our current trip list of all the species of wildlife we have seen is 260. This is an incredible total, and I’m so impressed with the friends I’m with and the wildlife they can identify.

Megan (in western Scotland)

DAY 24

Today was a bit of a recovery day after the recent busyness. As someone who suffers a lot from exhaustion, this mid-holiday break was needed so that I don’t burn out before the end. I have spent far too much time at my laptop today, but I have been having fun. Whilst Matt was preparing the vegetables for the roast dinner, I played a bit of my music. The ‘Dear future husband’ song by Meghan Trainor started playing, and I thought about how my version would be quite different – after all, my future husband will have to accept me for who I am which includes dissecting owl pellets, keeping roadkill, smelling otter spraint and looking for insects.

Then I actually decided to write out my own version of the lyrics to the song! It was posted on my blog earlier today.

I then took it further, thinking that it would be quite amusing to make a video for my YouTube channel. I found the instrumental version of the song and edited some text onto photos and videos in time with the music. Here is the result, enjoy!

DAY 25

Following the calm of yesterday, we headed over to the Isle of Mull to try and see lots more wildlife. The plan worked – Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) from the ferry and two Otters (Lutra lutra) gliding through still waters of a loch (during which my camera broke, nooooo!). On Iona, we were building our hopes up to hear the calling of male Corncrakes (Crex crex), and we did! It is one of the oddest bird noises I have ever heard, probably more weird than a booming bittern! Do go online and listen to it! Only about 15 minutes later and Matt spotted one as we were walking back to the ferry. What a lifer!

A small detour driving back to look for eagles – always worth detouring for! We had excellent views of an adult White-tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), and could also glimpse a youngster through the branches of a tree.

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Day Twenty-three of Megan & Matt Go Wild!

Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

Megan (in western Scotland)

Another day, another adventure! We headed even further west today, all the way out to Ardnamurchan Point. We also stopped off a couple of times on the way there and back – seeing juvenile buzzards, an awesome moth, a herd of Red Deer, numerous birds including Twite, Whinchat, Stonechat and …. WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE!!!

Once at Ardnamurchan Point, in between seeing various birds (including Gannet and Manx Shearwater), I went on a small, yet, adventurous rock meander and even filmed it!

There were more Pine Marten antics this evening – I can’t get over how wonderful this animal is.

Matt (in western Scotland)

The Western Isles of Scotland are like no other place on Earth for me. A s you drive along, rounding bends, stunning new vistas will unfold as if from nowhere, like a predator leaping from camouflage to unveil itself. The beholder is left stunned, like a rabbit in the glow of this assailant’s eyes.

Lochs, mountains and forests appear as if from nowhere.

Viewed from up close, rather than the distant confines and comfort of a car, these habitats are teeming with life, even down to the moths that are stirred from underfoot as you walk, and the tiny mosses and lichens that bustle for space.

Everything is wet – even hillsides and plateaus can be damp and boggy, providing much entertainment and surprise – surely water drains downwards leaving these surfaces relatively dry?

Standing on a mountainside, the air can be so still that the sound of a running brook can travel clear several hundred metres across a valley. And there are no human sounds to be heard.

If there is a place that for me captures Wordsworth’s idea of the Sublime – awe and fear in the face of the beauty and power of nature – it is here. You can feel both insignificant and intricately connected by stepping into this space.

Today we drove to the most westerly point on this peninsula, and looked across the water to the isles of Mull and Rum.

Our two hour meander out there brought us twite (a new bird for me), chiffchaff, stonechat and whinchat.

At the point, pyramidal orchids and the UK mainland’s most westerly palmate newts (bizarrely in little pools on the cliffs) greeted us. We watched manx shearwaters and shags fly past.

As we wound inwards, we stopped to climb a mountain, submitting ourselves to the power and strength of this landscape that exhausts the body and nourishes the soul. The all-powerful God of Scottish nature rewarded us for our troubles, with a distant but enthralling view of a sea eagle.

This evening, at the cottage, for the third evening in a row we lay in wait for pine martens. Having figured out the best location and approach, our efforts were, after several hours of back-aching patience over the past three evenings, finally rewarded with not only the views but also the photos we had hoped for.

I’m increasingly convinced that connecting with nature in this way should not be something that we (or at least I) find time to squeeze in, to do as a ‘holiday’ but should be everyday life. As Wordsworth understood all too well, we are part of nature, and our entanglement with it is a thing of beauty. To be wild is to be human.

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Day Nineteen of Megan & Matt Go Wild!

Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

Matt (in Worcestershire)

Today was the first day of my holiday. But much of it has been spent working in front of a laptop.

That’s because today is Rainforest: Live day – a project I set up and ran today for the second year in a row.

Organisations across the world have been using social media to share live wildlife sightings from their jungles.

It provides a window into what it’s like to be in a rainforest and reminds us of the positive reasons to save these incredibly special places.

The other part of my day was spent visiting an old haunt – an abandoned quarry that I know is home to a pair of peregrines.

Sure enough they were there, along with a juvenile bird they have raised this year.

I ran through the flowers chasing butterflies I wanted to identify, listened to birdsong and watched peregrines soar overhead. Today truly has been a wild day.

In real life I’ve experienced some of the best of UK wildlife; via social media I’ve witnessed some of the best wildlife our planet has to offer.

Megan (in Worcestershire)

Yes, we are in the same place again! Always a very exciting occurrence when you’re in a long distance relationship with someone. And almost straight away we were out watching wildlife together, as Matt wanted to show me a peregrine site. I wasn’t going to say no – I have only seen one peregrine previously, and it was for about 1 1/2 seconds!

I loved the abandoned quarry immediately, it was alive with birdsong and bright wildflowers, whilst butterflies, bees and moths were buzzing and flitting about on their business. And guess what? We saw the peregrine! Actually, we saw (and heard) 3 of them!! Two adults and a juvenile! Our British wildlife really is fantastic!

In addition, I have been helping Matt a bit with the running of #rainforestlive. It is fascinating to see the wildlife being spotted in rainforests around the world today – do go and check it out!

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Day Eighteen of Megan & Matt Go Wild!

Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

Megan (in some beautiful Dorset meadows)

I had a lovely time at Lorton Meadows today with a class from one of the local schools. We went pond dipping (where we admired the swooping acrobatics of a dragonfly), into the woods (great fun doing some bark rubbing and tree identification) and on a short walk around the reserve (admiring butterflies, moths, bees, flowers and more!).

The children were fantastically enthusiastic – many of them approaching me during the session to ask a variety of questions, from the identification of a flower to asking about butterflies.

It was a shame to see them leave, but hopefully today has helped to plant a love for nature in them which can be (again, hopefully) nurtured so that they grow up caring about their local wildlife and the wider environment. Which we need more than ever in our society!

Matt (on the train to Malvern)

Another day, another train journey.

I’m back in Malvern and off to Scotland with Megan and some other friends this weekend, which should provide a fantastic end to #30DaysWild.

And tomorrow’s edition should be especially exciting for other reasons.

But today was more tame, but no less interesting. Drifting through the South East corner of England I saw four red kites at different stages of my journey – is this species spreading even further? It feels so and I think that’s a good thing.

I also spotted a distant but probably cuckoo (I’m fairly sure having got my eye back in by seeing lots this Spring).

Trains are, as I say repeatedly, one of the best places to birdwatch, if you don’t fall asleep or get distracted by eavesdropping.

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Day Fifteen of Megan & Matt Go Wild!

Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

Matt (in London)

Wild In Westminster

Between my four meetings in westminster today i went and sat in victoria tower gardens next to the palace of westminster and made a few calls. Watching the river flow past I spotted a peregrine flying west over the south bank.

There are few more poignant reminders of the importance of the people sitting in the palace of westminster taking action for nature, or of taking a few moments to stop and look for wildlife, even in the heart of london.

Megan (in coastal Dorset)

I wasn’t able to head out with the Pan-Species Listing Group when they went looking for a rare beetle on Chesil Beach on Friday, so attempted to look for it myself during lunch. I didn’t find it, but I did enjoy seeing what was out and about. The thrift (Armeria maritima) is beginning to go over, with many of the pink blooms losing their petals and becoming paper-like. An interesting-looking fly also caught my eye, and helpfully stayed in place for me to take a photo.

Being out on the beach, I just couldn’t walk past the litter that is strewn around (especially since one of my 2015 Wildlife Resolutions is to pick up litter!). It is a neverending job at Chesil, more litter is always being blown in from the sea or dropped by visitors. I did a #2minutebeachclean whilst looking for the wildlife.



That turned out not to be enough for me – after work I headed up to Portland Bill. I had seen Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon) butterflies there last year, and wondered if they were out yet. Turns out they aren’t (that I could find anyway), but it wasn’t a wasted trip. I saw around 25-30 butterflies – no lifers, but my first Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) butterflies of 2015. This takes my butterfly list of 2015 up to 25 for the year I think.

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Days Thirteen & Fourteen of Megan & Matt Go Wild!

Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

Megan (in various parts of Dorset)

Crikey, that was a weekend and a half! I don’t think we could have fitted in much more wildlife if we had tried! A trip over to Brownsea Island for Saturday morning was a brilliant start. I had volunteered my time to help with the Dorset Wildlife Trust side of the bioblitz. The warden had tempted me over with the promise of many moth traps, and he was true to his word! There were some fantastic moths to behold – both colourful ones and (many) ones that I hadn’t seen before. The highlights for me were the Privet Hawk-Moth (Sphinx ligustri) and the Common Cockchafer / Maybug (Melolontha melolontha), just look at the antennae on the latter!!

A quick (ish) stop by RSPB’s Radipole Lake reserve resulted in us failing to hear / see Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus), but Matt saw his first (also, 2nd-6th) Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera). He has taken some absolutely superb photos – I must get him to teach me how to improve my photography techniques!

A (very early) morning on the Isle of Portland meant more rummaging in moth traps at the Portland Bird Observatory, my first Little Owl (Athene noctua), plus my first Pyramidal Orchids (Anacamptis pyramidalis) of 2015, as well as catching up with the Pan-species Listing group.

It was wonderful to go out and find wildlife with Matt – we first met through our love of nature and wanting to conserve it, so it feels right that going out into the natural world is a continuing theme in our relationship. After a busy week of work for the both of us, a weekend of connecting with nature in Dorset together was perfect timing.

Matt (in various parts of Dorset)

What can I say? This weekend has been so wild I haven’t had time to do any writing.

I spent the weekend with Megan in Dorset, visiting a string of wildlife sites and seeing a whole bunch of wildlife.

We were truly wild this weekend, waking up early both days to get out and see some nature.

Saturday took us to Brownsea island where I saw my first ever red squirrel in the UK, a longtime omission from my UK species list.

We also joined the bioblitz being run there and Megan worked her way through a myriad of moths.

Best of all for me was the chance to spend a couple of hours lying on my belly pointing my camera at squirrels. The results will follow soon.

The harbour between Poole and Brownsea was full of terns, gulls and even a diving gannet.

That afternoon we tried to track down a common rosefinch at Radipole Lake. Failing to find this rather dull first summer male we instead spent about an hour photographing bee orchids.

On Sunday we started even earlier to get ourselves over to one of the institutions of British birdwatching: Portland Bird Observeratory

Here, again, we peered into the many moth traps, before seeking out the little owl in the quarry and photographing pyramidal orchids in the meadow. Manx shearwaters and gannets sped by over the waves.

After a week during which work made it difficult to find time for wild, we made up for it in oodles this weekend.

Best of all it was all with my partner in crime and best friend.

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Day Twelve of Megan & Matt Go Wild!

Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

Matt (in London/Cambridge)

A tale of two halves

My twelfth day of going wild is split between last night and this morning. Last night I spoke at Parliamentaphobia, an event organised by the UK Youth Climate Coalition on how young people can engage with politics and their MPs.

I mentioned the importance of young people who care about nature speaking to their MPs and asking for a future rich in wildlife. It was a small and cosy event, and the discussion there (and in the pub afterwards) were thought-provoking.

Due to disruption at Kings X I didn’t get home until half past midnight, and so this morning when I woke up I felt less than prepared for work. The worst hayfever I’ve had in several years didn’t help either.

But my walk across the fields and through the wood behind my cottage gave me a burst of energy. Skylarks danced in the air above the fields and trilled away. Whitethroats coughed out their scratchy song and a distant willow warbler trilled down through the scales like a chorister warming up their vocal chords.

Best of all was a sound that I couldn’t miss, even with my headphones in – the purr of a turtle dove. These are the fastest declining birds in the UK, and every time I hear one I am left wondering whether that’s the last time I’ll encounter one in the UK.

There was one in the small wood a few weeks ago, but I thought it had moved on to where it hopes to breed. Perhaps it has and this is a new one, or perhaps it was just ranging widely but still nearby.

Either way, I will keep an eye, and an ear, on this one and look out for any signs that it might be breeding.

Megan (in coastal Dorset)

I’m not gonna lie, I am barely awake enough to write this post. We had such a busy day at Lorton today, with what felt like a million and one young children (and their parents) visiting.

Actually in reality, it was more like 80 or so people. We went pond dipping and minibeast hunting, made butterfly bunting and caterpillar palettes, and played a minibeast game. Of course, it was all great fun, but phew it was tiring!

I took a moment to identify at least one of the minibeasts – an orange and white ladybird – to species level. Rather nicely, it is one of those species that looks like its name – it’s an Orange Ladybird (Halyzia 16-guttata)!

As you will see, I have tweeted about it – but I have also submitted it to the iRecord Ladybirds App, and thus contributed towards a citizen science project!

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Day Five of Megan & Matt Go Wild!

Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

(Megan, travelling from Dorset to Malvern)

I had originally planned to spend the morning on Portland, looking to see if the Lulworth Skipper butterflies were about there yet (having seen them on Sunday at NT’s Corfe Castle). However, it seemed that my adventures had caught up with me and my body needed more sleep than I had planned. When I awoke, it was a quick dash around the house packing as I needed to head off to Worcestershire!

It was a long and boring journey – no good music on the radio (when there actually was signal!), and no wildlife seen except a dead hedgehog at J14 of the M5 (naturally, I shall submit this record to Project Splatter)! I was perplexed and a tiny bit annoyed – how would I do my 30 Days Wild challenge?

Upon arriving in Malvern and unloading my bag from the car, my eye was caught by something just above head height, flying by the edge of the house. A bumblebee! Better yet, a couple of them going in and out of the roof section – there must be a nest there! How fantastic! I ignored the unpacking and watched them buzzing about for a while instead. I do believe that bumblebees are one of my favourite groups of insects – not as good as moths obviously, but wonderful creatures indeed. I am particularly amazed by cuckoo bumblebees, but that’s for another time.

A very blurry photo, but you can just see one of the bumblebees

(Matt, travelling from Germany to Malvern)

I set off early this morning with a 14 hour train journey, made up of seven different trains, ahead of me. From Bonn to Malvern was a long way to go in one day, but it’ll be worth it for the next two days of wildlife.

In the meantime, far away in Dorset, Megan was soon(er or later) to set off on her own journey to Malvern.

But, as I’ve written in the past, trains are one of my favourite places to watch wildlife from. My previous sightings have included merlin, common crane and short-eared owl.

Lugging a heavy suitcase meant I was tired and spent a lot of time dozing, but I didn’t miss out on spotting some awesome wildlife.

A kestrel hovered over some farmland in Germany and swifts swirled over the French countryside. A flock of woodpigeons were feeding in a field in Brussels.

And as my sixth train passed Didcot power station in Oxfordshire a huge flock of red kites circled over the landfill site. Red kites are still fairly locally confined but they are spreading back across England and Wales, having been persecuted essentially to extinction here.

And for anyone who has been following conservation news recently, in passing I’m going to say that high numbers of predators are a good sign of a healthy ecosystem and even play an important role in it. Bring on more top carnivores recovering their UK numbers!

Even trapped in a train carriage for the whole day, I managed to Go Wild, determined to fit in some wildlife and have something to share with my lovely girlfriend, who was travelling from Dorset to Malvern herself, when we finally achieved our rendez-vous this evening.

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Day Two of Megan & Matt Go Wild!

Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

(Matt, at a conference in Germany)

It’s a wet and dreary day in Bonn, but as I left my hotel at 7.10 this morning I took a scenic route through the park next to the U-Bahn (the overground train system). The gentle dripping of the rain through the trees’ foliage calmed my mind as it whirred with the previous day’s climate negotiations and the tasks for the day ahead.

I paused for a moment to watch a mistle thrush pulling a worm from the sodden earth, and felt reconnected with the birds and the global web of life that’s the reason I’m here in Germany to fight for a safe and stable climate.

(Megan, in coastal Dorset)

I had a much earlier start than usual for Day 2 of 30 Days Wild. Not as early as a dawn chorus walk, but earlier enough for me to be sleepy mid-afternoon! I had kindly been invited over to the neighbouring town of Dorchester by BBC Dorset to be interviewed on the nesting kestrels at Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve (which is [a] owned/managed by Dorset Wildlife Trust, and [b] one of my work locations – the other being the Chesil Beach Centre).

If you’ve been following my weekly blog posts, you will know the story already. For those new to the drama – the previous female was killed just 6 days before the eggs were due to hatch. Luckily, a new female appeared one the scene and has paired up with the male. I stitched together a video of them, just before their first egg was lain. At the time of the interview, there were 4 eggs. At the time of writing, there are now 5! You can watching the nestbox online via the webcam.

It was fantastic to have this opportunity to talk about wildlife to a different audience. I found it quite nerve-wracking but the BBC staff were brilliant at putting me at ease, and the wonderful Sally (Communications Officer for Dorset Wildlife Trust) came along for moral support. I have since listened back at the recording – it is very odd to listen to my own voice!

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The hills are alive, with the beating of wings

Crikey, what a week indeed! It has been a real cracking few days for seeing wildlife – with the exception of Thursday where it just poured down with rain! Otherwise, I have been out and about looking for different animals all over the place!

A team meeting summoned me to Brooklands Farm (the HQ of Dorset Wildlife Trust), where I did my best to pay attention rather than being distracted by the butterflies just outside the window (and the cake waiting on the table for our break!). Lunch was a quick affair, speedily munching food before heading out to the meadow with Steve and Steve (yes, two!). We were hoping for some blues (butterflies), but no joy. However, there was an incredibly fresh and clean Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) butterfly. As the name suggests, they are normally a bit duller in colour – it must have been newly emerged!

The sunny weather continued when I got back to Lorton Meadows, and duely spent some time by the pond after work. Just wonderful. I have actually been inspired to write a poem by the pond, my first poem in 7+ years! I need to tweak it a little, but maybe I will share it here one day soon.

The latter part of the week was particularly lovely as Matt was visiting. We may have gone a little OTT with our wildlife watching, but it was fantastic! Some really spectacular species seen (and heard). A visit to Cerne turned into a bit of a recce – the weather was just a little bit too chilly and windy for butterflies I think. We did see some wildlife of course, the highlights being a Green Carpet moth (Colostygia pectinataria – my first of the year) and a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major – feeding on the ground which is a little unusual).

The sightings of awesome wildlife continued with a trip to one of the local RSPB reserves – Lodmoor. My second Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) of the year was seen, though it landed rather awkwardly in the middle of some nettles (see top left photo below). However, I managed to get a decent photo of it despite that (see top right photo below)! Not long after, a male Orange-tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines) was showing off the undersides of its wings (see bottom left photo below) – you can really see that green/white patterning! Another insect of note was a stunner of a dragonfly, a female Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa – the male has a blue abdomen in comparison). What a beauty (see bottom right photo below). Others insects seen: Peacock butterfly, Comma butterfly, Small White butterfly, Brown Tail moth caterpillars.

In terms of birds at Lodmoor – crumbs where to start?! I’m not going to lie – some of these were heard rather than seen, and Matt identified most of those (although I’m getting better at them!). I’ll go alphabetically:

  • Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Chiff chaff, Cetti’s Warbler, Common Tern, Coot, Cuckoo (seen not heard!), Dunnock, Gadwall, Great Black-backed Gull, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Little Egret, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Wood Pigeon.

The wildlife didn’t stop there. The sun was at its zenith high above us, and we continued on to our next appointed location. The local branch of Butterfly Conservation were running a guided walk along Weymouth Relief Road. This sounds a little odd, but actually, when they put the road in, they created habitat for butterflies and 22 species has been recorded there! Annoyingly, I managed to park in the wrong place, but even walking over to meet them – there was plenty to be seen (and also lots of prickly / stinging things to hurt myself with, d’oh!).

Upon joining the group, I was relieved to see that not all members of the walk were the usual crowd that I find at naturalist outings (60+ years, ~80% male). Not that their is anything wrong with the usual crowd! But it is always good to see diversity. The walk was fantastic, albeit breezy and I got to see my first (non-Holly Blue) Blues of the year! And a very rough-looking Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) too poor thing!

On Sunday, the sun was out again and not deceivingly-so, it was actually rather warm! We headed over to Cerne Abbas for a second time, feeling hopeful this time, to join another Butterfly Conservation Dorset Branch walk (joint with the Devon Branch). I was particularly excited as I had seen reports during the week of Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) and Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina) butterflies being seen here (hence the first visit!). Would I be in luck? As we drove via the Dorchester relief road there were clouds ahead and I started feeling a little down. Second time unlucky too? Pulling into the car park, further assessment of the weather / temperature and we decided to continue feeling hopeful.

And boy oh boy we were in for a treat! Butterflies and moths galore – including those mentioned just now. The patchy sunshine meant that the butterflies were not actually flying around that much, which is just perfect for photographing them! They were incredibly patient models, posing nicely whilst we gathered round awestruck at their patterning.

I am not going to lie, I fell in love this weekend. With a Duke of all things. But can you blame me? A wonderfully delicate butterfly, and those contrasting colours are just gorgeous! And that isn’t forgetting that by seeing this lifer at the weekend – I have just completed another of my 2015 Wildlife Resolutions! To see 2 new butterfly species this year. The first was the Grizzled Skipper in mid-April at BC’s Lankham Bottom, and now I’ve seen a Duke of Burgundy too!

In other insect news – I also found (I think) the nesting site of a bumblebee at Cerne, plus an odd-looking wasp-type creature.