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Posts tagged ‘Bentley Wood’

One for St David

pyrridium sanguineum

Pyrrhidium sanguineum © Gilles San Martin

One of the pleasures of being the Wiltshire county recorder for Coleoptera is receiving emails from fellow recorders, particularly when they’ve found something interesting on their patch. For example, last May Sue Walker and Tony Goddard found a specimen of the strikingly handsome welsh oak longhorn beetle Pyrrhidium sanguineum crawling up the outside wall of their house in Bentley Wood, South Wiltshire. After verification this was determined as a new first for the county. It’s more usually encountered in central and South Wales and the bordering counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire. This exciting find was later written up as a note in The Coleopterist.
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A morning with the Emperor and the Admiral

White Admiral – Limenitis camilla (Male)

Limenitis camilla – Male

I arrived at Bentley Wood to find the car park packed, not only with cars, but with people gazing upwards. The nearest chap whispered in hushed tones that we were in the presence of ‘His Majesty’ the Purple Emporer Apatura iris. A first for me. An elusive, almost mythical butterfly that until then I’d only read and dreamt about. I hadn’t imagined for one moment that one day I’d simply step out of my car and find it waiting for me. If I’d known, I would have had it cleaned and valeted.

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Pearly king

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary – Bolaria selene

Bolaria selene – Male

This little orange firecracker is a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene, a male I believe, photographed on the 9th June at Bentley Wood. This was one of the first butterflies I photographed last May when I got my macro lens and I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to viewing the results. Particularly as this was a new species for me. What a disappointment then to discover the vast majority were either blurred or just slightly out of focus. To be fair I did manage to get a few decent shots, one of which was shortlisted for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s 50th anniversary photographic competition, but believe me that was more down to luck than judgement.  Read more

Viviparous Lizards

Viviparous Lizard - Female

Zootaca vivipara – Female

Whilst looking for butterflies in Bentley Wood I came across quite a few Viviparous Lizards Zootaca vivipara basking on some old grey tree stumps, clearly enjoying the sun. I must have seen over a dozen of them, plus many more scampering through the shorter dryer grass in the clearing. I find colour variation interesting and this is one species where both colour and pattern is quite variable. Read more

Separating the pearls

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Boloria selente – Male

When I went to Bentley Wood a week or so ago now looking for a butterfly I’d never seen before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or even where I’d find it. I was looking for the Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne but it was further complicated by the fact that the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selente was to be found there too and I’d never seen that before either. As it happened both were flying at the same time and to a novice like me both looked very similar. On my first visit I’d definitely spotted and photographed one of them, but which one? Read more