Stunning Swanwick

I’ve not been down to Swanwick for a few weeks, probably well over a month to be honest as I’ve been busy on other sites. Wow, what a difference a month makes particularly going from spring into summer. The meadows are looking full of colour and the diversity of invertebrates is building nicely.

Before heading to Swanwick I was looking for a photo for a presentation and stumbled across a photo from 4 years ago. I knew the view would look different now but I wasn’t expecting such a contrast.

North East Meadow in 2011

North East Meadow in 2011

After having this photo fresh in my mind I was simply blown away by the difference correct grazing management can make. Four years ago it was almost possible to loose a horse in the scrub regrowth. Now there is hardly any and the abundance of Orchids, Ragged robin, Bugle and Vetches is simply staggering.

North East Meadow in 2015

North East Meadow in 2015

Along the way up to North East Meadow I walked up onto north hill, which again is stuffed full of insects. The majority of which were Hoverflies of varying sizes and colours basking on the bramble bushes.

Unknown Overfly

Chloromyia formosa

I stepped into North East Meadow and the first thing I noticed were the shear numbers of Orchids poking their heads up above the grasses.

Orchids

Orchids

Then a Common blue butterfly grabbed my attention, flying in front of my face before settling on a blade of grass.

Female Common blue

Female Common blue

Then a Meadow brown flew past and then another. I think I saw about four in total and they were all looking in mint condition presumably freshly hatched.

Fresh Meadow brown

Fresh Meadow brown

Interested to see how many Damsel and Dragonflies were around the shallow meadow pond I headed up to take a look. Broad-bodied chasers, Blue-tailed and Large red damselflies were in good abundance, particularly in sheltered areas out of the wind.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

I headed back to the centre via Flat Meadow which, again, was looking fantastic. Grasshoppers and Crickets were starting to stridulate (make a grasshopper/cricket noise, rubbing their legs together), which was the first I’ve heard this year. Another pleasant surprise was a fleeting glimpse of a Green hairstreak (a first for me at Swanwick) and an Emperor Dragonfly.

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2 thoughts on “Stunning Swanwick

  1. Thanks tarsigercyanurus1! This is a whole new world of invertebrates for me. I feel Diptera will be much much more difficult than Lepidoptera!

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