Over the weekend, whilst staying at The Bowens in Fownhope, we did a number of short walks and took an awful lot of photos (616 to be precise -- or, in old money, just over 17 rolls of 36 exposure 35mm film). I thought that rather than writing one long post I'd do a number of shorter posts one for each of the places we visited.
On the Saturday morning we set out in the cars to visit Wessington Pasture. Unfortunately we missed the turning (it looked like the entrance to a farm) and ended up at Broadmoor Common instead. According to the information board the common represents a fine example of a flower-rich ancient grassland. The abundance of wild flowers makes it an ideal habitat for moths and butterflies and they didn't disappoint.
As we stepped out of the car I got flown at by a Ringlet butterfly which was considerate enough to then land on some brambles right next to the car and in an ideal place for a photograph. Of course I don't really need to go all the way to Herefordshire to see Ringlets; we had some in the garden yesterday, well we did until the Robin ate one! Just as I was finishing photographing the Ringlet there was a cry from the other side of the car park as my mother had spotted something much more interesting, a Marbled White.
I've never seen a Marbled White before and neither had Bryony. I guess I shouldn't have been overly surprised by their presence. There was a photo of one on the information board and my butterfly book states that the unmistakable Marbled White is a lovely butterfly of unimproved flowery grassland, which seems to match the description of the common on the board. Unfortunately they don't seem to like sitting still, rather they flit from flower to flower annoyingly fast for someone who is trying to take their photograph. In fact it wasn't until we were nearly ready to leave that I finally got a decent photo.
There were other butterflies flitting around (definitely a Small Tortoiseshell) but I didn't get any photographs. I did, however, manage to photograph a day flying moth, specifically a six spot Burnet moth. This sat quite still on a thistle for quite a while allowing us all to take as many photos as we wanted. It still hadn't really moved when we decided to walk a little further up the road.