Anyone with even the remotest interest in the natural history of Cornwall can’t have failed to notice the huge influx of Painted Lady Butterflies – Cynthia cardui sweeping across our peninsula. It is one of the biggest events of it’s kind that the county has witnessed in over a decade.
During the second week of April 2009 I was staying in the Sierra Grazalema Natural Park, Andalucia, Spain, where hundreds of Painted Ladies (plus a handful of Clouded Yellows – Colias croceus) could be seen nectaring and presumably laying eggs everywhere we went.
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10km southwest of Ronda, (as the Griffon Vulture flies), near the eastern edge of the Sierra Grazalema Natural Park in Andalucia lies the Llanos de Libar, an area of karst at the head of a limestone valley. Amongst other things it is a great area for reptiles and amphibians, so with that in mind we headed for the village at the gateway to the Llanos de Libar, Montejaque.
The drive beyond the little village of Montejaque, up through the valley that divides the Sierra de Juan Diego & the Sierra de Montalate, is fantastic for bird watching with Rock Buntings, Stonechats, Black-eared Wheatear (black throated race), Woodchat Shrikes, & Short-toed Eagles all easily visible from the comfort of the car.
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Sunday 19th July 2009 1030 to 1330
The Dragonflies and damselflies of Goodygrane Quarry with Cornwall Dragonfly Group
Meet at The Bishop’s Forum,
Halvasso, Longdowns, near Penryn (Grid Reference SW745324)
Start time 1030
Leader Steve Jones
Bring Wellies, Camera & suncream (If you would like to move on to another site in the afternoon please bring lunch)
Booking is preferred, so phone the The Bishop’s Forum Centre on 01326 340912 for details.
Goodygrane is situated close to the main Falmouth to Helston road (A394). Turn off the main road opposite the Stonemasons Arms at Longdowns signposted for the village of Halvasso. Follow this country lane until you reach a T junction (with a signpost for Constantine, Gweek and the Lizard). Turn left, drive past a few houses and you will see Goodygrane Bishop's Forum sign on the left hand side of the road. Follow the made up lane until you reach the car park where the office is situated.
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Helston Boating Lake was the venue for the January 2009 Cornwall Wildlife Trust Photography Group meeting, where once again we were making use of another popular public open space. Also known as Coronation Lake the site is at the edge of town in the sheltered valley of the River Cober and is very popular with young families feeding the swans & ducks, children getting to grips with tri-cycles, and the not so young piloting their radio controlled boats from the safety of the boathouse.
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On the 30th May 2008 during a trip to Windmill Farm on the Lizard peninsula I did my usual circuit of all the dragonfly hotspots within the reserve, including the bunded northern scrapes. These bunds may not be the most attractive of features to have around a pool but they are a clever use of the material which had been excavated in order to create the pools in the first place, in that they make an effective windbreak around the entire water body.
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A taste of spring has come early to the sleepy village of Godolphin Cross in West Cornwall. The winter climate here is generally much milder than the rest of the United Kingdom and over the last month or so I have heard half a dozen or so Common Frogs – Rana temporaria croaking away first thing in the morning even though temperatures have frequently been around 0C or under as daylight approaches.
Updated 15th January 2009
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Books on Bugs
Just for a laugh!
- Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014 Shortlist
- The hidden wildlife of Lara Beach, Antalya
- ERCCIS/Duchy College Dragonfly Course 2014
- British Dragonfly Society Field Meeting
- A day of Practical Conservation Work at Bell Lake Marsh
- Death of a summer superstar
- Early Brimstone at Breney Common
- Dragonfly Talk
- Twenty-plume Moth - Alucita hexadactyla
- I got an Ergot!
Dragonflies and Damselflies
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