The grizzled skipper

I had a great day out yesterday with my friend David, who has such great knowledge of batterflies, birds and plants that it makes every step of a walk in the woods an educational experience. We decided on Great Morton Sale a small woodland quarry just to the West of Peterborough near Nassington.

As we reached the once quarried south facing slopes now ‘managed’ primarily by rabbit grazing, the sun came out and we spent almost an hour spotting and carefully pursuing small butterflies to try and capture the perfect photo. My favourite was this, the grizzled skipper who I felt an immediate affinity to from the butterfly guide book description of its “grey or grizzled hair’

grizzled skipper

Grizzled Skipper

David, being a golfer likes to play butterfly spotting here at a parr 11 so we spotted:

Early purple orchid

Early purple orchid

Large White

Small White

Speckled Wood

Grizzled Skipper

Dingy Skipper

Common Blue

Small Heath

Orange Tip

Green-veined White

Brown Argus

One very interesting butterfly flew past too quickly to identify just to tempt us, but all in all I was pleased with our one under parr.

pair of brown argus

mating pair of Brown Argus

In addition to the butterflies we heard a green woodpecker, garden warbler and willow warbler and saw early purple orchides, four red kites, a kestral and the biggest scariest hornet I have ever seen in my life. All in all a great day out made all the more interesting having such an expert to identify, explain the charateristics and stress the rarity and importance of some of our most threatened species.

As if that wasn’t enough we then went to the Cross Keys at Kingscliffe for lunch and had the daily special with a pint of their finest ale which if I was a grizzled skipper I would describe as nectar.

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