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A late afternoon walk around the Little Orme did have some purpose today, I was hoping to see a Burnet Moth and to find some insects to photograph in close-up. I was lucky on both counts: Burnet Moths were flying around visiting the wildflowers growing near the edge of the clifftop in some numbers and I found a few models willing to allow me to get close them.

27/7/11-Six-spot Burnet moth


6-Spot Burnet – Zygaena filipendulae

Wingspan: 30-38mm

Flight period-Mid-June to September

The commonest of Britain’s day-flying moths, the 6-Spot Burnet is found throughout Europe in habitats such as unimproved meadows, woodland clearings and sea cliffs.

27/7/11-Close-up of 7-spot Ladybird-Little Orme, N Wales

Seven-spot Ladybird– Coccinella 7-punctata

This is the most familiar of ladybirds and the one generally thought of as the typical ladybird. Common & widespread throughout most of Britain & Europe.

27/7/11-Common Greenbottle Fly

Common Greenbottle Fly (Lucilia sericata)  A common blow-fly found in most areas of the world, and the most well-known of the numerous green bottle fly species. It is 10–14 mm long, slightly larger than a housefly, and has brilliant, metallic, blue-green or golden coloration with black markings. It has black bristle-like hair and three cross-grooves on the thorax. The wings are clear with light brown veins, and the legs and antennae are black. The maggots (larvae) of the fly are used for maggot therapy. (Wikipedia)

27/7/11-Garden Bumblebee-Bombus hortorum on scotch thistle flower
27/7/11-Caterpillar of the Cinnabar Moth

At the bottom of the steep path leading up to the top of the cliffs I spotted a beautiful Common Blue male butterfly pursuing a female. He caught up with her a couple of times but she finally eluded him and he settled midway down a long grass stem.

27/7/11-Common Blue-Polyommats icarus (male)
27/7/11-Underside of the Common Blue male

There were Small Skippers flitting amongst the long grass stems too and I had a lovely front view of one of a face and furry body.

27/7/11-Front view of a Small Skipper on a red clover head

I had a brief sighting of a Small Copper butterfly here too, but it was gone before I could get to it. I walked slowly up the track, partly because it’s very steep and I probably couldn’t have gone any quicker, and partly because I was watching out for gulls that were gathering on the cliffs and flying about noisily and very low over my head. They may well have been gathering together for the night, but making quite a performance of it.

27/7/11-Herring Gull juvenile
27/7/11-Black-headed Gull, looking a bit shabby

I made it to the top of the hill and discovered it to have been well worth the effort for the views you have from up there.

27/7/11-The view from the top of the path of Penrhyn Bay & Rhos-on-Sea 

At the top I watched a white butterfly flying rather awkwardly, which  I realised was hardly surprising, as looking more closely it was actually a pair coupled together.

27/7/11-Small White butterflies mating 

On the way down I caught sight of a Whitethroat flying about the tops of the bracken and stopped hoping for better views of it. It disappeared into the depths of a bramble though and I only had brief glimpses as it worked its way through the tangle of stems. A flash of an orange butterfly caught my eye though as it came to settle on the track in front of me, wings outstretched and flattened against the bare earth – a gorgeous Comma, unfortunately not in the greatest position to photograph well, but at least I’ve recorded it now.

27/7/11-Comma – Polygonia c-album

Back at the bottom of the hill a bramble, in various stages of flowering and fruiting was attracting a lot of attention from what I’m pretty sure were Honeybees – I have seen so few since I’ve been here I was taken by surprise to see so many in one place; maybe someone has a hive locally.

27/7/11-Honeybee-Apis mellifera

Cormorants were flying in for the night too, some individuals, some in twos and threes and more in larger numbers , one behind the other.

27/7/11-Cormorants flying in for the night

Before leaving I wanted to get an image of the view from the Little Orme across to Bryn Euryn as I’ve taken the picture several times the other way round.

27/7/11-View to Bryn Euryn

Close to this spot there was a wild clematis plant covered with pretty greenish-cream flowers.

27/7/11-Wild Clematis flowers

My last interesting spot was of a Grayling butterfly; it was flying low over an area of large stone chippings upon which it came to rest. It soon moved on and I watched it go down amongst the stones, but even though I thought I’d kept my eye on it, it took me several minutes to locate it. It was perfectly camouflaged, squeezed down tightly, its wings firmly shut and it was leaning to one side, pressed against a stone. Very safe and snug, drawing heat from the sun-warmed rock, unless it rained I would guess.

27/7/11-Grayling butterfly pressed amongst stone chippings