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Ring Ouzels, Green Hairstreaks and Ixodes ricinus!

A magnificent day on the moors today. I found another colony of Green Hairstreaks and spent a happy hour sharing their heather moor habitat. The bilberry plants on which this butterfly lays its eggs were growing at the top of Glaisedale and these butterflies are an absolute delight. They are very tame and allow very close study. The females were actually laying eggs on the plants. I also saw many Common Heath moths which fly by day. From what I have read they are particularly early this year perhaps not surprising given the warmth on the top of the moors today.
I spent the afternoon sketching Ring Ouzels at a secret location. Ring Ouzels have declined drastically in the British Isles but today I watched two pairs. They are migratory thrushes who spend the summer on our uplands and the winter on the side of the Atlas mountains. They evoke wild places and are very shy. I watched them from a respectful distance with my telescpoe and on occasion they would approach me- a great priviledge to watch these scarce breeding birds. They looked particularly elegant today, sleek in the warm weather with wings drooped. A fantastic day on the moors and the wildlife followed me home- Sheep Tick Ixodes ricinus removal after this evening’s shower, one of the perils of sketching on sheep grazed moors!

Glaisedale- 20th April 2011
Green Hairstreak on bilberry- by Jonathan Pomroy
Common Heath moth- by Jonathan Pomroy
Ring Ouzel studies- pencil and ink crayons in sketchbook

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