Archive for August 21, 2014

Bookham Common is a National Trust site in north Surrey that I have been meaning to visit for sometime. Firstly because it is one of the nearest sites to central London to have a number of special butterfly species (Purple Emperor; White Admiral; Brown Hairstreak and Brown Argus) but also because of its easy accessibility having a train station adjacent to the common. So I took the opportunity to visit today. In all honesty it was probably 2-3 weeks too late for the best of the butterflies but I thought it would be worth a look around.

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The morning was bright and cool as I arrived at the common, which is a mixture of pasture meadow and woodland with a series of pools in the middle. The temperature and the increasing cloud cover during the morning made for a lack of activity but I did see 6 species of butterfly, the most numerous being speckled Wood and Gatekeeper.

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Of the special species my best chance was always going to be Brown Hairstreak as this is still on the wing well into August and I did see one confirmed female and two possible males but all were fly-by views and so I didn’t get to see the characteristic markings on the male to confirm identity.

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Photo by Mike Darlow from UK (brown hairstreak Uploaded by Amada44) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Brown_Hairstreak_Nierenfleck_Zipfelfalter
female showing characteristic orange bars in wing
Photo by Aah-Yeah (Flickr: Brown Hairstreak Nierenfleck Zipfelfalter) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

On and around the ponds there were a large number of Common Blue damselflies; some Common Darters; blue -tailed damselflies; an Emperor dragonfly and a Ruddy Darter.

Common darter

Common darter

Common Darter

Common Darter

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

It is certainly an interesting site and I will certainly be planning a return visit in July next yea to look for the other special species.

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Excellent blog on the coaching stock on Bluebell Railway. On my recent visit I did notice how good the trains looked as the carriage sets matched, unlike some railways where, as a matter of availability, the sets are just a random selection of coaches.

Loco Yard

2014 Bluebell Railway - Sheffield Park - Southern Railway Maunsell Open Third No1336 SECRC Class 592The Bluebell Railway not only has an incredible collection of locomotives, but has a fleet of historic carriages that is also quite exceptional.  Around 70 carriages make up a collection of vehicles that range from the Victorian era through to British Railways mark one’s of the 1950/60s.  Tonight’s blog post looks at some of this historic collection in no particular order with a combination of pictures taken from various visits to the Bluebell Line, including my latest (please click here to read).

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