Posted by: mynaturaldiary | August 17, 2008

Moors and valley woodland

One thing about living where I do is the range of habitats within 30 miles. We have saltwater estuaries, coast, moorland, woodland and urban. The Hole of Horcum, is a large valley carved by glaciation, which encompasses Moorland, woodland and pastural.

First joining the path before crossing the Moor, gives some fine views of a raven circling in the sunlight.

Raven (Corvus corax)

Further along the path, a visitor crosses, unperturbed at my presence

My guess is this is the caterpillar of a Garden Tiger moth, but I’m not sure.

Since it’s a gloriously sunny day, the butterflies are out in force.

Peacock (Nymphalis io)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)

The path soon crosses Moorland, with the Heather in full bloom. It’s like walking on a purple carpet.

This last picture shows the valley well against the Moorland Heather.

Occasional Large White butterflies float by, together with bees, but it’s mostly quiet, bereft of people.

Descending through into a gully brings more visible life.

Butterflies are feeding on the Heather here, sheltered from the wind.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

In the floor of the gully lies a hollow pond, overgrown. And this unflustered beast.

Hiding on a fern is

a Garden Carpet moth?

These Small Whites were caught in flagrante delicto.

Small White (Pieris rapae)

Moving further on, towards the valley floor reveals a Large Heath.

Large Heath (Coenonympha tullia)

and other species of butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis urticae)

The valley floor is quiet too, but passing up the ascent, in a distant wood, lurks a colourful flycatcher.

Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)

One final look back down the valley shows the butterflies dancing finale.

Heading homeward through the many Dales, I spot a distant hawk hunting.

Soon her mate flies overhead, sweeping this side of the Dale for prey.

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

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