Monday 21 May 2018

Kestrel and Small Copper Butterfly at Dunwich Heath

Despite a grey evening in Aldeburgh on Saturday, we had lovely weather over the weekend. We had hardly stepped on to the heath before we noticed this Kestrel. We often see one here so it was not a surprising sighting, but these birds always stop me in my tracks and make me think of The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

I was really hoping to see butterflies, but perhaps the nearby bank of cloud was keeping the temperatures down just a bit too much.

However, I keep a sharp eye open (and a sharp ear in case we heard the scuttle of a lizard), and was rewarded with this beautiful Small Copper, perching on a pile of dead bracken, twigs and leaves. 

There did not appear to many people about, but first appearances can be deceptive. The sound of voices drew nearer and a group of about forty walkers hurried past.

I apologise for the quality of this next record shot. But you will just be able to make out the Whitethroat who was singing away near the coastguard cottages,

... just across the road from this little patch of Thrift.

Clumps of Sea Kale were colonising the beach below.

Dunwich Heath and Minsmere, which adjoins the heath, are home to a number of sand-loving insects such as the Bee-wolf and Antlion. There were one or two insects flying along the edge of the sandy path and one or two holes like this one...

It took a bit of patient waiting as the insects were pretty skittish, but a bee-like creature landed eventually. I don't know what it is but wonder if it might be a species of mining bee: please leave a comment if you have an idea. And on the subject of sand-loving bees, there is a wonderful photo here of a Pantaloon Bee at Minsmere.


Ragged Robin said...

A lovely walk - super photo of the Small Copper. For some reason it is a species I always struggle to see each year.

Well done on the garden Ruby Tiger - I've never seen one here! It is a very pretty moth.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely to see the small copper, they've become very elusive up here these days.

I think that mystery insect is indeed a mining bee, Crafty Green Boyfriend will know!

Amanda Peters said...

What a beautiful place.. love it. You found some lovely things, especially like the photo of the Small Copper.
Amanda xx

Lowcarb team member said...

Well, you certainly saw a lot on your recent walk.
Thanks for sharing your photographs here.

Husband Eddie and I have been up in the Lake District, we enjoyed beautiful weather, we were so fortunate.

Enjoy your week.

All the best Jan