Friday, 7 August 2009

Fritillaries galore at Smardale.

Dark Green Fritillary
Dark Green Fritillary

Scotch Argus

Scotch Argus

Spotted Flycatcher

Swallow and House Martin


Smardale Gill Viaduct

Views from Smardale Gill Viaduct

As the weather was good we decided it was a good day to visit Smardale near Kirkby Stephen to look for butterflies. It was absolutely beautiful and if you have never visited Smardale before and you enjoy butterfly spotting or enjoy walking in beautiful scenery then this is one of the places for you. The walk takes you along the old railway line and across the Smardale Gill Viaduct and past the old lime kilns. It is part of the coast to coast walk I believe.

Along the walk we saw lots of Scotch Argus and Painted Lady butterflies along with small skipper and a few Small Heath. We only saw a couple of Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshell and only one Red Admiral but as we walked to the far side of the viaduct we spotted a Fritillary. It was one of the butterflies we had been hoping to see and sure enough it was, it made our day. On the way back in the late afternoon sun we saw lots of them, most near the viaduct but some also along the walkway heading back to the car. We also spotted a male and female Common Blue and what we think was a Brown Argus.

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