Visited my mum in the Isle of Man last Saturday and I was delighted to see a fair number of Red Admirals flying around in the sunny weather on the island. Saw a handful of Small Tortoiseshells, a solitary Large White and a couple of Speckled Woods too.
Monday in particular was decidely pleasant, with light winds and 16C temperatures. The view of the north of the island from the mountain road (the T.T.course for those of you interested in motorbikes) was beautifully clear:
I had to take the ferry back to Heysham rather than Liverpool on the Wednesday owing to essential maintenance being required on the fastcraft. Again, it was a beautiful morning and a calm crossing and it felt quite strange sitting on the exposed upper deck on 28th September in just a T-shirt. The picture below is of the Tower of Refuge in Douglas Bay at 7.45am. The tide is right out and this is one of only a handful of opportunities per year to actually walk across the bay and onto Conister Rock to reach the tower.
By the time I arrived at Heysham it was 12.15pm and 24C. I couldn't resist taking a little detour to Warton Crag, which I could see clearly from the ferry terminal. Once there I climbed to the top and the views toward Grange-over-Sands and Arnside Knott were lovely:
Again, there were a fair few Red Admirals on the wing, and around a dozen Speckled Woods too. I also saw a Peacock, a Comma and a White which was too small to be a Large White so must have been either Green-Veined or Small.
I also encountered three Brimstones, two females and a male, all voraciously nectaring on the few thistle plants that were still in flower:
I don't know about anyone else, but I found it quite incongruous to be walking along in such warm conditions whilst simultaneously scrunching fallen autumn leaves beneath me. Where was this type of weather during July and August? It's welcome of course, but tempered with disappointment that so few butterflies are around to revel in it. To make matters worse, on the drive back down the M6, the temperature rose to an incredible 25.5C between Preston and Wigan!!!