17 May 2014

17 May 14 - Going Back In Time

Last year I planned to visit Powerstock Common in May, a great downland reserve to the North West of Dorchester, to look for Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk Moth. However, circumstances stopped me getting there last year. This year the spell of warm, sunny weather in mid May tempted me. Powerstock is a Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve & takes visitors back to a period when there were better numbers of Flowers, Butterflies, Bees & other insects in the countryside. It's a great reserve to visit. The main area I was focusing on was the disused railway line where the track has been removed and the track & the banks are now managed for Flowers, Butterflies Bees & other insects.
The disused railway line: Looks really good habitat, doesn't it
The disused railway line: Further along the banks start to widen out
I spent my time looking along the railway cutting, but keeping to the bottom. Turns out I should have been looking higher up on the South facing slope, but I wasn't aware of that at the time.
Small Heath
Grizzled Skipper: I saw 3 Grizzled Skippers on the visit
Dingy Skipper: There were at least 8 Dingy Skippers flying around close to the base of the gully
Pyrausta despicata: This small Moth is widespread in downland & limestone habitats & is a common diurnal species
It's not just the Butterflies that the habitat is managed for, but also the flowers, as if the DWT don't get the flowers right, then there won't be the food plants for the caterpillars to eat.
Cowslip: One of my favourite downland flowers
I found this great view as I was heading back in the direction of Maiden Newton from Powerstock Common
As I reached Corfe Castle, I passed a steam train on the Corfe Castle to Swanage heritage line heading to Swanage. I frequently see them, but rarely have the camera so I had to stop this time. There are frequently people photographing the trains from this bridge, but today I had it to myself. Just two of the local tourist attractions I rarely stop to enjoy & which I would do more often, if not distracted by the local Birds & other wildlife.
Eddystone steam train: It's on it's way to Swanage, with Corfe Castle in the background
Eddystone steam train: I like the juxtaposition of the old & the very old. The Eddystone is one of the regular steam trains on the heritage line