Friday, 15 July 2011

Witherslack Mosses

For this week's trip I had decided to cross the border and explore the area around Witherslack in South Cumbria. This is a fabulous area for the naturalist and has some wonderful nature reserves managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. I knew the area reasonably well having done some butterfly and plant hunting a few years ago. The very warm weather continued and it seemed an ideal opportunity to spend the day around the village of Witherslack which gives access to the nearby Foulshaw and Meathop Mosses and to the extensive woodlands underneath the magnificent limestone escarpment of Whitbarrow Scar.
I began the day looking for dragonflies at Foulshaw Moss and was kept busy photographing the delightful black darters which posed obligingly on the bankside vegetation bordering one of the delightful pools at Foulshaw. From here I went into the extensive woodlands at Witherslack to look for the large fritillary butterflies to be found there. I came across one or two clearings in the woods which had many brambles in flower and from time to time the fritilaries were visiting to nectar on the flowers. They were not easy to photograph but I did manage some shots of a mating pair which are shown above. Other butterflies present were common blues and dark green fritillaries.
For the remaining time I returned late afternoon to Foulshaw Moss. There was less activity from the dragon and damsel flies but red deer were beginning to come out of hiding way out on the moss. I had nice but distant views of the deer but was suddenly aware of a fox quite close to the viewing platform and making it's way out onto the moss through the rough grasses and sedge vegetation. I managed a couple of shots before the fox heard the camera shutter and rapidly vanished. Not long after that super views were had of a visiting Marsh Harrier which came fairly close and gave great views in the evening sunshine.
It was now time to make the journey home after what had been a wonderful day with the camera in this very special area of Cumbria. I was very pleased with the results and have shown above some of the day's highlights. I can't wait to return for more wildlife encounters in this part of Cumbria. I hope my readers enjoy the images posted above of black darter dragonfly , emerald damselfly ,and mating pair of silver washed fritillaries. The highlight of a wonderful day was of course the fox and the fly past of the marsh harrier both shown above and one or two of the magnificent scenery in this part of the world.


  1. love the blue google eyes in the top shot. hoping we get to see the fox in a future post. :)

  2. texwisgirl. You were a bit quick with your viewing as I hadn't finished uploading images!! The fox etc, are all now shown above. Thanks for looking in and all your much appreciated comments.

  3. I love the fox Brian - never actually seen one in daylight, frustratingly! Might even have to visit some landfill sites at this rate.

    A beautiful set of images Brian.


  4. Brian. Looks like you have had a lovely day out with a nice variety of wildlife,looks a wonderful place to visit. Great set of images keep up the good work.

  5. Such a wide choice and diversity of where to go in our area. Glad to see you made the right decision and had a great day in the same area as BT and I had in the same lucky with the mating pair of Silver-washed Fritillary.

    It goes without saying, more excellent images you brought home with you Brian.