Saturday, 28 April 2012

The Glanville Fritillary at Wheelers Bay

I have mentioned Wheelers Bay several times in recent blog entries when refering to the Glanville Fritillary on the Isle of Wight.With its south facing aspect and protected to the north by sheer chalk cliffs,Wheelers Bay enjoys a very mild situation.
A few years ago the coastal defences were vastly improved here and an area created between  the coastal path and the base of the cliff.This area was quickly colonised by plants and became an ideal habitat for the Glanville.Around this time a stretch of the coast at Bonchurch, which maintained a colony of Glanvilles was in imminent danger of disappearing into the sea due to erosion.Therefore chrysalides were collected there and transferred to Wheelers Bay.A thriving colony was quickly formed with several hundred butterflies on the wing.However in recent years this figure has gone down mainly due to some of the habitat becoming overgrown.Nevertheless there is still a healthy population here.
Many other species of butterfly are to be seen at the Bay,one of which at this time is the beautiful Orange Tip.The following photos are of a female enjoying a sheltered sunny spot in one of the Bays private back gardens.
Here and throughout Ventnor one can also find the Wall Lizard.It is a very handsome creature particularly the adult.