9.8.15.

Sunday

Grey start to the day, and 13ºC rising to 20ºC by dinner time.

I broke todays visit to HC into 2 visits. Mainly because I wanted to visit The Bog, Stiperstones and The Long Mynd in the Shropshire Hills. The Main reason being to try to find the Grayling butterflies they have over there.

So started early morning off at The Wardens Office looking for moths. I found an Iron Prominent, I think this is my first at HC. We do get them at work every year. I think this dark coloured moth gets its name from the Iron colour and some look like they have a rusty appearance…

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There was 2 Dark Arches today. But posting one for 3 days, I thought I would not take any photos today. There was this fresh looking Brimstone Moth though….

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So then I headed off to Shropshire. On my return visit to HC this afternoon, I headed to the thistles where I had seen the White Letter Hairstreak. Its been over a week now, and I still have not seen any more. One thing I did notice at The thistles, which I have never noticed before. Comma’s seem to have a variation on their underside colour. I noticed one light, and very patterned (Top). The other was a lot darker, with hardly any pattern (Bottom)…

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At the Island Pool I had a Common Buzzard kindly circle over my head…

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This was new to me. Although its supposed to be very common. Its called a Knopper Gall (Andricus quercuscalicis) and this Gall seems to be mainly on Acorns. There is loads of this in one section of Oaks. Amazingly I have never seen the Gall Wasp that induce these Galls…

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Acorn without Gall….

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On one of the Oaks with the Knopper Gall, there was this Purple Hairstreak sunning itself…

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I watched this Gatekeeper land on this Garden Orb Weaver’s web. It soon wrapped it up. Packed Lunch I guess…

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Large White on Bramble Berries/Blackberries…

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Silver Y. I will eventually find one of the other Y Moths….

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This is the first Common Blue I’ve seen on the Heather this year. I have seen loads of Common Blues in the meadow. But only a handful on the actual Common. This one looks a little worn…

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I know this is a Blog about Highgate Common. But I’ve noticed other people who run Blogs also share a trip or two. So I will do the same today. Like I said at the top of the page I visited The Bog, Stiperstones to see if I could spot some Grayling Butterflies. My Trip was very successful, and I managed to see 6, and photograph about 4 of them. These rate as one of the hardest butterflies to see. Not the fact of how many there are. The fact of how well camouflaged they are. The very first one landed at my feet, and just vanished. I knew it was there, but could not see it. It did eventually move, by flying off into the distance. So here are my photos of The Bog, and the Graylings. If anyone is interested in seeing these butterflies, they are round the car park, and the Mine ruins. The School House in the bottom photo is actually the visitors centre (open 10am – 5pm)….

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On my way home I decided to drive over the Long Mynd. Done this loads of times, mainly looking for Dotterel up there. But I still get a bit nervous on the way down, with only a single lane, and a sheer drop with no barrier. I had my worst nightmare today, with 4 cars coming up, but luckily each time there was a slight pull in, but driving on the left, I was still too close to the edge for comfort. But I would still advise people to try this at least once in their lives. Best way to do it, is park in The Carding Mill Valley (Really Beautiful Place) and use their Bus Shuttle service. On a nice day, its nice to have Picnic in The Valley, get a shuttle, and visit the pub on the shuttle route….

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