Sunday, 24 August 2008

Sunday 24th.August 2008

Waking up this morning I thought I would be confined to barracks for a second day running . But , about half past one , the sun appeared , albeit in small patches . By half past two , things looked reasonably settled , so I set off for an hour on the Common .
I had a look at the Ash tree , but all was very quiet . In the glade , I noticed that the Migrant Hawkers had increased to four , and were hawking eagerly in the sunshine . I thought to myself that any remaining tatty Purple Hairstreaks could easily be predated by these ariel acrobats . I headed for the Heather area , which looks and smells suberb at the moment , being in full flower .
Over in one corner , I noticed a lot of dragonfly activity , and I went over for a closer look . On the wing were 4 or 5 Migrant Hawkers and 2 Southern Hawkers . Chasing backwards and forwards , it was difficult to follow them . Eventually , I noticed one peel off and fly behind some Gorse , but I didn't see it fly out again . I went over to investigate , and this is what I found .
Hanging , one above the other , were a male and female Migrant Hawker , looking as if they were having a snooze after Sunday lunch . I took a banker shot at distance , then slowly closed in . The pair took absolutely no notice of me as I approached , and even when I had the camera set on Marco , with the lens some 10cm. away , they just stayed where they were , the only movement caused by a medium breeze . The male is the lower insect , being blue/brown , and the female , the one above being brown/yellow . I left them to finish their snooze and headed back to the Ash tree .
All over the Common , the ground is alive with Grasshoppers and Crickets . What were tiny juveniles a few weeks ago , have now grown into adults , like this Meadow Grasshopper , identified by the short wings that do not reach the tip of the abdomen .
In the same glade appeared a male Brimstone , and when he landed to feed on Red Clover , the light behind showed his colouring at it's best , a real BUTTERfly.
Almost beside him in the grass , was afaded female Gatekeeper with unusual dark spots on the forewings . Usually , they just have the eye marking on each wing . The full count was - Small Copper (1) , Speckled Wood (2) , Meadow Brown (8) , Gatekeeper (4) , Common Blue (2) , Holly Blue (1) , Small Heath (7) and Brimstone (1) .
On the way to the car was this fungi , which grows alost entirely on Elder , it's Auricularia auricula , and it's common name is Ear Fungus . Apparently it is edible , and not only by slugs .
I did find one small moth , only about 1cm. long , probably too small to ID , but I'll post it and leave it to the experts .


Warren Baker said...

Yep, that Brimstone is a real cracking shot greenie.
Nice one.

Steve said...

Nice pictures Fred, especially the Brimstone. That that the politically correct name for what i normally call it?....or is it a different species? Not sure what the moth is...I have enough problem wit macros

Greenie said...

Steve ,
It is the one you know , which I was told has been recently renamed by the powers that be , probably for PC reasons .