Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Pearls of the Wyre Forest 13 th May

One of the Main butterfly species i didn't get around to seeing last year were the Pearl Bordered Fritillaries .  so as soon as i heard they where emerging, a bit later than expected due to the unusually cold weather we have been having the last few months!  A trip to the Wyre forest on the Worcestershire/Shropshire borders ,the area around Bewdley i headed for.  i had been sent a map with the best areas marked for the PBF s so that was a great help as the forest is about 6000 acres! 
After a 96 mile journey i arrived in the forest at about 9 am , the best area was only about 10 mins from car park  , so not too bad, but would i find the butterflies?  as they had only just started emerging the numbers where unknown, but the sun was trying its best to shine , but was still quite cold and windy!

                  What a beautiful forest!    Bluebells all around glistening in the early morning sun :)

I soon found the Pipeline area and started looking, almost immediately i spotted my first ever PBF :)

I was expecting them to be bigger!!!!!    presuming they would have been larger than the "small pearl bordered"  Weird!  go figure that one out!   newly emerged ,scales glistening in the sunlight!  bright sun not the best for photographing butterflies!

And one feeding on Bugle.

Now, having shot a few of my main target species , I'm off for a walk , i took a path off the pipeline and found a wonderful bluebell area!

and one of our most beautiful butterflies, the Peacock which is so overlooked in favour of less common species!

I made my way down to an area called "Dowles brook"  in the hope of seeing a few more species . the stream runs through the centre of the forest and water always attracts different species and flowers.

A Crab spider feeding on a march fly:)  shot with mpe-65 macro lens.

                                                   And a shield bug on a bluebell flower :)

                  and a close up shot of one of the many wild flowers that cover the forest floor!

feeding on the wild flowers were quite a few Beeflys , amazing to watch hovering effortlessly while feeding!

Making my way back towards the first area , i crossed a small bridge at the bottom of the valley and there, resting on one of the wooden handrails on the bridge was a Nursery web spider , so i just had to take its photo :)  

I made my way back up the steep track ,  where a few PBFs feeding on Bugle and Dandelion flowers all along the path edges which was great to see , very flighty though but did manage to get this single shot:)              looking back down the steep track.

  I came past the Bluebell area , its always really great to walk through a bluebell wood at this time of year, spring at its best :))

Now i was back at the main pipeline area , this is where large water pipes are buried which carry water from wales down to the midlands area.  the large open glides created a superb habitat with bracken and the violet flowers that the PBF caterpillars feed on .

While the sun was out it remained quite windy and cool, but the fritillaries where still feeding  and flitting in and out of the main ride. 

I suddenly noticed something  small and brown fly past me,  it turned out to be a Dingy skipper, the first one i have ever seen Yay!  it appeared they had very recently emerged and where fairly easy to follow, but i found them very hard to get decent photographs of!

                                To finish of the days shooting , a couple more PBF shots :)

I had really enjoyed my first visit to this beautiful forest , and i think it will become one of my favorite places to shoot , even though it is quite a long way from home!   i had not got the images of the butterflies i was hoping for , but that just means another visit very soon:)))

                                shots taken with canon 5d2, 100mmL and mpe-65 macro lens


  1. Really love your photos. I agree the Peacock is is one of the few I recognise!! They are all pretty though :)

  2. Superb photographs again Phil.

    How do you find all these butterflies? Are you very patient?

    I guess you know what you are looking for.

    Anyway your work is just lovely and always gives me a lift.

  3. Another great blog Phil and beautiful shots of the butterflies. Glad you also found a Bee-fly!

  4. Lovely photos.What camera and lens did you use of the close ups? I have taken similar photos but not so well. KR
    Rob C

  5. Sorry, I see the answer to my question,
    Rob C
    PS The single white flower is a Wood Anenome and the collection of white flowers are Greater Stitchwort.