Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mountains and Butterflies Irton Fell,Whin rigg and Illgill head june 18 th

The weather was looking good, and i had heard the Mountain ringlets had started emerging on Irton fell in Wasdale.  one of , or THE most beautiful valley in the lake district.  tucked away from the main tourist areas and having to drive through the Hardknott and Wrynose passes.  a very long drive for me, in fact allot longer than i expected because the road to the Hardknott was closed due to re surfacing so i ended up having to drive through Langdale,past Blea tarn and then onto the passes road!  Arghhh  


                                                                              THE sign!

After negotiating the passes without hitting anything!  it was only a few minutes drive to the car park below Irton fell in Eskdale.  a quick walk up through the woods and taking the right hand path that leads on to the fell ,instead of up Irton pike, to where the butterflies should be :)

Looking back the way i have just walked with Irton pike on the right hand side of the image!

And my first view of Wasdale!   WOW!

This is Irton fell , the grassy area should have the ringlets hiding  lol.  this is the lowest altitude that these butterflies are to be found , which means they emerge here first before the other colonies on the higher fells of Grey knott,Kidsty pike ect.  After looking around the lower slopes i had only spotted two tatty specimens, so presumed that the higher slopes up towards Whin Rigg might be a better area to search!

After climbing a little higher i soon found a few ringlets fluttering in the ever increasing breeze!  this was going to make photographing them very difficult, but with views like this, Who cares!   lol

  Finally a Mountain Ringlet shot , not great but nothing i could do with them low down in the grass!!!

turning around , the Isle of Man is clearly visible in the distance:)

Upwards to Whin Rigg now, a nice steady climb while watching flutters :))

                                   This is the area i have found them in !  lower slopes of Whin Rigg

Then as luck would have it! a newly emerged specimen Yay!   it was quite windy now, and bright sun also but managed this image that i am quite happy with :)

after shooting this image i made my way up to the summit of Whin Rigg , there where ringlets everywhere!  amazing to see them all fluttering high up on a mountain! in fact i sat here watching them for about 15 mins :D     this image is looking back from where i have just walked , the path leading onto Irton fell on the right hand side corner.

                         up here near the summit i found this one , quite a good area here for them :)

Wastwater was now in view! with Illgill head straight in front of me which is where i am heading now!

                           After saying Hello to the locals, which is becoming a habit now lol

                                               i shot this closer image looking down Wastwater.

I made my way towards the summit of Illgill head , and this is the view looking towards Yewbarrow, Kirk fell, Great Gable and Lingmel  Amazing views from up here!

Looking from the summit cairn of Illgill Head  , surprisingly there are quite a few ringlets up here between the two summit cairns/shelters :)

What a super day its been up here, think i spent more time watching the butterflies than shooting them!  so enjoyable in these surroundings :))

a long walk back now! over Whin Rigg ,  BUT more good views to shoot :)

one last butterfly pic taken on way back.

As i get back onto Irton fell i turn around and notice how the cloud has been building, WOW! looks amazing!

can just see the summit of Great Gable in the cloud over to the right!

The end of a superb days climbing and Butterflying :))))   a bit different from normal

images shot with canon 5d2, 100mm macroL and 17-40L


  1. Phil, if you could be bothered, a map of the route you walked would be really useful.

  2. Certainly stunning views up there Phil and a bonus with the Mountain Ringlets.