Tranmire Bog (North Yorkshire) – 31/07/12

A family mid-week break on the North Yorkshire Moors gave an opportunity to visit Tranmire Bog, a small bog on the edge of Wheeldale Beck, adjacent to Cropton Forest. This location gives good opportunities to observe some species not encountered in East Yorkshire. The main target species here is Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens, Tranmire Bog probably being the most easily accessible location the see this scarce Yorkshire species. Even though the weather was overcast, several males were present, along with an ovipositing female. Golden-ringed Dragonfly Cordulegaster boltonii are also present at this site, one of our largest species, their black and yellow colouration making them look quite threatening. A few were to be found resting in the heather, and despite the overcast conditions several males were patrolling territories along Wheeldale Beck. In addition to these two species a single Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata was observed, along with a few Large Red Damselflies Pyrrhosoma nymphula appearing as the ambient air temperature increased.

Keeled Skimmer - Orthertrum coerulescens

Keeled Skimmer – Orthertrum coerulescens

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Cordulegaster boltonii

Golden-ringed Dragonfly – Cordulegaster boltonii

Several butterfly species were present with a couple of rather worn Small Pearl-bordered Fritilaries Clossiana selene managing to eek out their last days of the season. Good numbers of Small Heaths Coenonympha pamphilus were also present.

Another new hoverfly for me,was the large Bog Hoverfly Sericomyia silentis. In flight, due to its size, one of the best wasp mimics I have seen so far.

Bog Hoverfly - Sericomyia silentis

Bog Hoverfly – Sericomyia silentis

Finally, a highlight, and a chance to write about Reptiles.  A species I have not seen at this location before was Adder Vipera berus. I disturbed one, just seeing it disappear into the heather, before finding a second only a couple of metres away, coiled up, trying to absorb as much heat as possible. After getting my eye in I managed a further seven sightings, all in a small area, so difficult to determine how many individuals were involved. In the same area there were numerous Common Lizards Lacerta vivipara, though none stayed still long enough to get their photo into this blog.

Adder - Vipera berus

Adder – Vipera berus

Adder - Vipera berus

Adder – Vipera berus