Tuesday, July 03, 2018

πŸ“– #43 ~ Ryton Wood

☀️26C Tuesday 3rd July 2018 ~ Ryton Wood: Although part of Ryton Wood was lost to sand and gravel extraction in the 1960s, the wood has been returned to its present excellence through traditional management practices, and is one of the county's largest surviving semi-natural ancient woodlands. Ryton Wood covers 85 hectares, has been designated as an SSSI and boasts an extensive list of notable species.

The primary reason for today's visit ~ Hairstreak and Emporer Butterflies.

1st Gatekeeper of the year for me at Brandon Marsh
After returning to our home mooring, enjoying a long weekend out cruising, a particularly quiet early morning visit to Brandon Marsh, where the highlights were a dozen or so juvenile Common Terns and my first Gatekeeper butterflies of the year.

Silver-washed Fritillary ~ Ryton Wood
From Brandon, I headed off to Ryton Wood, parking in the small Warwickshire Wildlife Trust car park just off the A425. My first walk was the track which leads around towards the rear of the Police College buildings. It wasn't long before the first of eight Silver-washed Fritillaries were noted, with plenty of 'Whites' on the wing too: Large, Small and Green-veined.

Purple Hairstreak in good numbers today...
Much more to see along this track with many Purple Hairstreaks both at ground level and in the tree canopy. White-letter Hairstreaks were also notable but in smaller numbers and could also be found along the ground.

White-letter Hairstreak
I walked as far as the Butterfly Conservation gate before returning to the car for a coffee after a fantastic hour or so which also produced: BrimstoneSmall Skipper, Large SkipperWhite Admiral, Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Ringlet and Meadow Brown.

White Admiral
Finally, after coffee a walk halfway along the main track in search of Purple Emporer. It was a simple task to be fair with 4 specimens in the usual tree which supports the large bat box, which is, in fact, currently playing host to a large population of Bees. Sadly despite other species posing nicely for photos, the Emporers were less obliging, remaining high in the canopy during my stay.

Other images of the visit...