Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Arnside Knott Butterflies & others june 25th

Its nearing the end of June, and its still cold and wet most days , but with a dry sunny day forecast i just had to drive up to Arnside knott in cumbria to see if the butterflies had emerged , it is a very good site for some of the rarest endangered species in the country!  namely the High Brown fritillary and the Scotch Argus .  its still too early for them to be emerging this year with it being so cold , but the Small pearl bordered fritillarys and Dark Green fritillaries should be flying , and the Northern Brown Argus also, so it will be worth making the trip :)
Arriving at Arnside at about 9 am , everything was soaking wet , must have had a lot of rain overnight!   and my boots need re proofing! Arghhhhh

  i decided to take a look at the lower terraces first which is normally a very good area , on climbing down to the lowest terrace i heard a squealing and then a Young deer foal ran towards the wire fence being chased by a large dog!   the sound was horrific as the dog tryed to catch it!  the foal squeezed through the fence and walked towards me, head down but obviously looked frightened to death!!!!!  meanwhile 2 adult deer where running around frantically looking for the foal and the dog then chased them off!!!!!!! i could see no sign of the dogs owner!  totally irresponsible but it is national trust open access land  , when i told the warden he said nothing can be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   i was quite shocked after witnessing this event.

This area is mainly bracken  and the Fritillaries love to rest on the fronds :)  But NOT today!
  My first Dark Green Frit of the year , a stunning newly emerged specimen :)

           This is the area of bracken that they are perching on , its not very sunny so the fritts are not showing very well. as with most fritillaries they only fly when warn and sunny.

There were a few of these DGs flying and i noticed a Small pearl bordered frit shortly afterwards , which i started chasing through the bracken until it settled and i managed this shot :)   By this time, both my feet were totally soaked!  Arghhh

After about half hour i decided to go and have a look at another area, i made my way through the wood to Heathwaite meadow , a beautiful area with loads of wild flowers , including orchids :)

This is a very good area to see the Northern Brown Argus butterfly , a different species to the "Brown Argus" which is found in the midlands and down south.  it was quite breezy and was very difficult to shoot these tiny butterflies perched on thin grass stems :D  this is the best i could manage.

a few more flower pics , what a beautiful place:)))

and another marsh orchid species

My first Meadow Brown image of the year, quite late emerging this year !

and a 6 spot Burnett moth

Time to carry on walking now, time to climb up the Knott itself:)    great views from here now, looking over to the cumbrian fells :D
Climbing up to the top , there is a stone viewpoint with etched metal plaques with all the mountains named.

walking through a small wood to an area which has the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries, on this slope and a little higher up amongst the heather and thistle flowers

i came across a Small Pearl Bordered fritillary perched up on a grass stem , really difficult to shoot in the breeze but did manage these images , i really like the light in this one.

and another closer view

After shooting this  a quick walk around the area looking for other subjects to shoot , here are a few of the local inhabitants :)

Beautiful orange Cranefly



And a Wood Ant, there are numerous colony's of these all over the knott!  shot with mpe-65 macro lens.

Great views from up here, the knott is surrounded on 3 sides by water!

I soon came across this mating pair of small pearl bordereds

and perched beautifully :)  what a stunning butterfly!

Then perched on a non native invasive plant "orange hawkweed" which is being removed from the knott. it will take over if left unchecked!  shame as it is beautiful!

And to finish , a high magnification portrait shot with mpe-65 :)

i will be back very shortly as the High Brown fritillaries will be emerging anytime now!

All mimages canon 5d2, 100mm L macro & mpe-65 macro lens


  1. The hawkweed sets off the colour beautifully! Super set. Speak soon.

  2. I want to mention just about everything on this blog post so I'll just condense it down to a single 'WOW'! Beautiful, as always, Phil :-)

  3. great shots Phil, this looks a stunning place.