Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Dorset Podarcis...

In total contrast to yesterday, today was warm and sunny so I decided to go and search part of the southwest coast path for adders this morning. The initial stretch from Lyme Regis towards Seaton is ideal habitat and I'm sure they must be there somewhere. Indeed I met a very helpful local couple who confirmed they had seen them, but not recently. A thorough search of the area produced no adders whatsoever. What has happened to them all? Despite the disappointment there were a few plants and insects worthy of some photos and I have never seen so much tufted vetch in my life, what a great year for this plant:

Bombus lapidarius, warming up in the morning sun: R. Harris
Common Blue, male: R. Harris
Common Blue, male: R. Harris
Common Blue, male: R. Harris
Small Copper: R. Harris
Tufted Vetch: R Harris
Fly sp.: R Harris
Harvestman sp.: R. Harris
Bombus hypnorum: R. Harris
It was still quite early so my next target was to try and catch up with another Wall Lizard colony, this time at Abbotsbury Tropical Gardens, one of the oldest in the country. The Tropical Gardens are a pretty spectacular place and being right on the Dorset coast I'm sure they must pick up the occasional
rare bird too, however my target species Podarcis muralis, is no fly-by-night. It was first recorded here as an introduced species way back in 1890 and it continues to thrive today. It may only be second to the Ventnor colony on the Isle-of-Wight in terms of age established. I only managed to see a single male today but in fairness the sun hadn't quite hit their favourite wall, no doubt an afternoon visit would have been more productive. Nevertheless, this individual was very obliging and was the highlight of the day...

Male Common Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis: R. Harris
Male Common Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis: R. Harris
Male Common Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis: R. Harris
 Couldn't resist a little bit of video too...



The Gardens are also a great place for butterflies and it was a pleasure to bump into @wawlee who was photographing silver washed frits just inside the garden entrance. There were also stacks of commas, red admirals and a hummingbird hawkmoth:

Silver-washed Fritillary: R. Harris
One of over a dozen Red Admirals: R. Harris

Blue-tailed Damselfly on the Lily Ponds: R. Harris


No comments:

Post a Comment