Saturday, 7 February 2015

Dubbs Moss Nature Reserve - a hidden gem

I am lucky enough to live fairly close to a great little nature reserve owned and managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust - Dubbs Moss

Roe deer, Capreolus capreolus- Dubbs Moss
The is a quiet little reserve, out of the way but with plenty to see. The first time I visited this reserve I headed off on a path that went through the woodland and I was lucky enough to see a roe deer, Capreolus capreolus pictured above. Also in the woodland I came across plenty of fungi growing on the trees. Now not being a fungi expert I am unsure of the red one below! But the colour is amazing. Also on the trees I found bracket fungus and of course plenty of mosses and lichens. I am pretty sure that the bracket fungus is blushing bracket fungus, Daedaleopsis confragosa - but if you disagree please let me know!

Bracket fungus - Dubbs Moss
Blushing Bracket fungus, Daedaleopsis confragosa - Dubbs Moss
There is a good mixture of habitat on Dubbs Moss and after I left the woodland I came out onto wetland and grassland.The photos below are of second visit to Dubs Moss in the later spring early summer when the wildflowers were out and there was plenty of butterflies and insects buzzing about. Out on the grassland there are plenty of common spotted orchids, Dactylorhiza fuchsii, which are always great to see. There was a number of them quite close to the entrance to the reserve - so a treat as soon as you arrive!

Common Spotted Orchid, Dactylorhiza fuchsii - Dubbs Moss
The other treat I had on this reserve was the large skipper,  Ochlodes sylvanus. I really like this butterfly because to me it has an almost moth like appearance. Its not as large as its name would imply and has a lovely vibrant orange colour. 

Large Skipper, Ochlodes sylvanus - Dubbs Moss
Amazing butterfly beady eyes and a very furry body!
Large Skipper, Ochlodes sylvanus - Dubbs Moss
Ringlet Butterfly, Aphantopus hyperantus - Dubbs Moss
The ringlet butterfly I saw pictured above was quite deceiving in appearance as it did not have the spots on its wings. I have seen other images of ringlets like this but I need to do more research as to why there is the variation! the image below is of a ringlet that I took elsewhere in Ennerdale for comparison and it clearly shows the spots, which do also appear on the underside of the wings. Good old nature - confusing me again!!
Ringlet Butterfly, Aphantopus hyperantus - Ennerdale
So this is just some of this treats you can see out at Dubbs Moss. I will be heading out there again to see what I can find. Its a great spot to lose a few hours! I have also been on a Cumbria Wildlife Trust conservation work party out here with the Northern Reserves Officer, Kevin Scott and after clearing some brash on the grassland area we had a bonfire and ate baked potatoes. Great way to spend a day!
Sunset across the farmland taken from Dubbs Moss

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