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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Wingates Quarry Durham

The end of last month we where down at Shotton Colliery  Durham there is a small airfield  that does Skydiving  we where there to watch someone do a charity jump , I must admit it did look fantastic as they floated down to earth from about 2 1/2 miles up, from above you would barely have seen the ground, several people where jumping for charities so well done to them all. While in the area we went to the nearby Wingates Quarry  LNR its easy to find on the map , this is the site for among other things the Marbled White Butterfly I think they where an unorthourised  introduction at some time , it was perhaps early in the year but with recent good spell of weather there is always a chance , Dingy Skipper was the first Butterfly seen also Orange Tip ,Small Heath and numerous Whites , but no Marbled, we did have a cracking view of a Broad Bodied Chaser which quite by chance settled near a very small pool that was teeming with Newts ,another pool nearby had the usual Damselflies and masses of Leeches in the water the most I've ever seen some looked 6" long . Well as the afternoon went on despite the warm weather the butterflies decreased , there where some notable botany specimens to be seen the best was Common Butterwort growing in clumps in the open , the site is well worth a visit , it's the furthest north for Marbled White introduction or not. 
 This would make a fantastic setting for some movie or other it must have been a very large quarry in it's day
Paths criss cross the whole area so it's easy to explore and being a quarry you can't get lost
C ommon Butterwort  a carnivorous plant the basal leaves are somewhat sticky  and so trap very small insect which are absorbed rather than eaten

 I could see any insects but  they are certainly sticky
 Common Blue but only one
 First Dingy Skipper seen but then they where all over the place  very common here

Female Broad Bodied Chaser the only actual Dragonfly seen this plantain was blowing back and forth about a foot each way , I was thinking I'm not going to get a photo before it goes , but if you use the take enough approach one or two will be OK
Female Broad Bodied Chaser on Ribwort Plantain and that's Cuckoo Spit below just to give an idea of size
 A few of these around Lacewings ? they just catch the eye being a nice shade of blue
 Dingy Skipper very common here I remember my first which took me ages to get a photo of
 Small Heath hard to get a photo with the wings spread
 Cinnabar Moth I was surprised to see for some reason I thought they where coastal ?
 Three Dingy Skippers where taking I presume minerals  from the bird dropping on the left
A strange landscape  now topped off with the ever increasing presence of wind turbines

1 comment:

Citybirding said...

Had a quick look at the quarry yesterday on way back from Bishop Middleham. Was wondering what the Butterwort was - thanks3364