A walk at the end of the peninsula, parking on Mynydd Mawr and walking to Mynydd Anelog, will perhaps become a new fixture of our summer trip to the Llyn. The views and the colours are truly spectacular.
I started this walk at the back of the pack, even in a slow moving group I seem to gravitate towards the rear.
And having started there…
…I fell gradually farther and farther behind.
The problem was that I was distracted, not only by the stunning views and the carpet of purple heather and yellow gorse, but also by the profusion of butterflies and my attempts to photograph them.
Painted Lady underwing, subtler than the more familiar upperwings, but beautiful none the less.
Painted Ladies were the most abundant, but I remember happily counting nine different species of butterfly on this single walk. It’s the kind of thing which makes me inordinately happy. 2019 was a bumper year for butterflies apparently, particularly for painted ladies. The last big year for these migrants was 2009, an influx which I remember well.
Common Blue on Common Fleabane.
I’ve read that Common Blues did well last summer too, with recorded numbers up over 100%. These two seem intent on increasing the population even further..
The male is on the right, recognisable because he is more brightly coloured. Which bright colouring includes his aedeagus (analog of a penis). Which came as a bit of a surprise to me!
There were quite a lot of Common Blues about. Here’s another pair…
Painted Lady on Common Fleabane.
Drone Fly on Mint.
It wasn’t only the butterflies who were feeling amorous…
I knew that grasshoppers are very variable in colour within a species, but the differences are quite striking here. I was also surprised by how much smaller the male is than the female…
I’ve found an excellent online identification guide to crickets and grasshoppers, but I’m still not sure about these. I think they might be Field Grasshoppers.
Tatty Meadow Brown.
Mottled Grasshopper. Possibly.
Tatty Painted Lady.
Red Admiral. Also two types of heather, Ling Heather, which is paler pink and dominant here and, to the right of the butterfly, the darker, purpler Bell Heather.
Along the coast to the distant Rivals.
It may have seemed, earlier in the post, that I had promised nine different species of butterfly, but the post only has photographs of six. What were the other three? Well….I’m fairly confident that one was Small White, but they rarely sit still to be photographed. And…I don’t remember I’m afraid. Possibly Ringlet. Maybe Wall Brown, which I’ve seen here before. Or Gatekeepers? Or Small Heath? Much as I’ve enjoyed revisiting this marvellous walk at eight months remove, there might almost be something to be said for keeping a diary up to date!
My account of the last time we did this walk is here.
Andy’s posts about this walk are well worth a read, and can be accessed here. That’s him, on the right of the final picture.