Today there was a break in the weather (well it wasn't raining) and late morning Bev and I decided to take the opportunity to go for walk in the Wyre. I was hoping to see (and possibly photograph) Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and my thinking was that due to it being mild and overcast, they may be less active and perch up for longer. My thinking was correct and I managed to do both.
We started our walk by heading from Dry Mill Lane carpark and along Dowles Brook. It was long before we saw one of the Wyre's speciality birds, a Dipper. We watched for a fair while as one was bobbing up and down in the water periodically submerging to catch invertebrates. Also during this stretch of the walk we heard two singing Wood Warblers and a distant Tree Pipit.
Next stop was the meadow at Knowles where we managed to see 5 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and as I predicted they were less flighty and photo opportunity beckoned. The same couldn't be said of the numerous Chimney Sweeper moths that led both Bev and I on a right merry dance. In the end neither of us managed a decent photo of one and with such high numbers of midges attacking us we gave up on that one. Also of noted at the meadow were 3 Burnet Companion and 2 Yellow Shell moths.
Another species I was keeping my eyes peeled for was Golden-ringed Dragonfly. I know they occur along the Dowles in small numbers but I hadn't managed to connect with them there in previous years. But I know that fellow birder Mark P had observed a female there last week so I knew there was a shout. Whilst Bev was photographing a Small pearl-bordered I walked a bit further along the track only to notice one perched on a stem low to the ground nearby. Result! this was a stonking ♂ Golden-ringed Dragonfly. He was fairly inactive due to the conditions and I managed to get some very pleasing photos.
We then walked up through Knowles Coppice and past Lodge Hill Farm. In the area just past the orchard we noted 2 more Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and a single ♂ Meadow Brown butterfly (the first I've seen in 2012). A Tree Pipit was heard singing nearby.
We then followed a very enjoyable walk by getting a bag of chips in Bewdley and sitting down by the river. Life doesn't get much better!
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
♂ Golden-ringed Dragonfly