Sunday, 9 March 2014

Butterflies at Bacton Wood

Bacton Woods
What a beautiful day to visit the woods! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and it's a soaring 18 °C! As we were walking through the pine trees we could here crackling noises all around and above us, almost as though there were rain drops hitting the canopy. Eventually, after being hit by a couple of small seed-like things, we decided it must be the pine cones opening up in the heat and releasing their seeds. A very strange experience.

On the drive up we saw countless bright yellow butterflies in the fields, and there were even more around Bacton wood. I initially thought they were Brimstone butterflies, but on checking my i.d. guide, they shouldn't be on the wing until June. I am none the wiser as to what they could be, so if anyone has any ideas, please do comment below. This is the first time this year that I have seen butterflies, and they are just everywhere! Our mystery yellow butterflies being one species, but also Peacocks and Commas were flying and dancing all around us.
A couple of the bright yellow butterflies

We also saw our first bees of the year today as well; a few different species, but I am not sure what they were as they did some very fast fly-bys. I am convinced we also saw a bee-fly as well, from below it looked like a very large and chubby hoverfly, but it was too high up to get a proper look.
Peacock butterfly

Comma butterfly

Kestrel resting 
Bacton woods, although busy at the weekend with walkers and cyclists, is also a bit of a haven for birds. The trees are fairly diverse so it attracts a large range of species. Unfortunately, none of the birds we heard and saw would oblige us with a decent photo opportunity, and I confess that we heard more than we saw.

Barely 100 yards from the carpark, we heard and saw little yellow-green flashes in one of the young trees. There was a small group of siskins fluttering from branch to branch and across the path in front of us too. We also soon saw the cause of their distress. A kestrel flew over and landed not far from them in a tree, rested for a while, then took off, continuing his hunt.

Budding blossom
Once the siskins had settled and moved on, so did we. All around us, birds were calling and singing. We heard and saw blue tits, great tits, chaffinches... But we did not get far before hearing a very familiar song of chiff-chiff-chaff, chiff-chiff-chiff-chaff... Our first chiffchaff of the year! It feels like summer is here already.

An interesting tree in Bacton woods


  1. They're Brimstones that have emerged from hibernation. I've seen them today at Allerthorpe Common in East Yorkshire - it's been a lovely warm day here too!

    1. Thank you Jonathan! That was my suspicion, but it just seems so early... Glad you've had great weather this weekend too!

  2. Yes, we think they are Brimstones as well.

  3. just come across your lovely blog I have had some yellow butterfly's and currently have 3 peacock ones sleeping in my spare room came in through the window last autumn

    1. The yellow brimstone butterflies seem to be everywhere now! The peacocks should be waking up soon too :)