Large Heaths at Crowle Moor.

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Large Heath on Knapweed.
Roger and I had decided to pay a visit to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reserve of Crowle Moor, part of the Humber Peat lands complex. We were hoping that the large heath butterflies would have emerged by now and this was one of the reserve’s specialities as it is the only site in Lincolnshire for this northern species. On a bright, warm morning – rare for this summer – I picked Roger up at 8.00 am and we soon arrived at the small parking area for the reserve. As we assembled our gear it quickly became apparent that the most common insect for the day was going to be the mosquito and they turned out to be voracious. The following day my hands were swollen and covered in huge itchy lumps. As we walked around the reserve it was also noticeable how much water there was. It made me realise that the drought we have experienced had in fact been a couple of years long as in previous years the area was much, much drier. I have to say though that as I type this two days later the rain is torrential and we have just cancelled a weekend away to Norfolk in the caravan as the forecast is so dire. We followed an anticlockwise route around the reserve as we knew that would take us to where the largest numbers of butterflies were to be found. As soon as we reached the correct area there were plenty of insects on the wing but it was breezy and still rather cool so we opted to continue round the reserve and return to this spot later. As we wandered round we saw plenty of large heaths in all parts of the reserve but not in such high numbers. It was noticeable that there was little other activity, however, although we did come across some noisy woodpecker chicks with their heads poking out of the nest hole clamouring to be fed and we had a brief glimpse of a hobby. After lunch, trying to avoid the mossies, we made another visit to the large heaths. This time it had warmed up although it was still somewhat breezy. We were, however, successful in photographing these attractive butterflies.
Another excellent day.