Saturday, 18 April 2009

Saturday 18th.April 2009

Today , although better than many this week , took quite a while to warm up . About ten o'clock , I could wait no longer and set off for the Common . The sun was trying to show through the clouds , but it wasn't doing very well . Unphased by the lack of sunshine , the male Chiffchaff was still singing , but apart from an unseen Blackcap , not a lot else was heard , or seen . Given the conditions , butterflies were few and far between , but even so , 4 Brimstones were recorded , along with 2 Peacocks and a first of the year Small White , looking as if it wanted to change it's mind in the cool wind . On the heathland area , I found a good sized Slow Worm , who in the cool conditions , did not disappear as soon as I got the camera out . The only other thing of interest was a very gravid , pregnant , Common Lizard-Lacerta vivipara , and as the second part of the latin name denotes , she will give birth to live young , having produced eggs , but kept them internally , exactly the same as the Adder .
Returning home for lunch , I asked Carol if she fancied a walk at High Elms Country Park in the afternoon , impressed or what Warren ! She did , so we set off for Burnt Gorse , a sheltered area of chalk grassland . On the way , we saw the Green Hellebores that I posted a few weeks ago , still looking very fresh , but the flower heads now going to seed . At the usual place , Speckled Woods were scrapping for the best spot , where sunshine was piercing the ever enveloping canopy . A total of 5 very fresh insects were recored here . A bit further along , I had another chance to photograph a male Brimstone on Bluebells , the two colours going so well together . This was one of 8/10 , all males , recorded on site . Finally , we got to Burnt Gorse , and in the sheltered conditions , I was hoping for a Grizzled Skipper or early Green Hairstreak . Lots of Bee Flies greeted us , but all those I looked closely at were Common , still no sign of Spotted for me . My attention was drawn away from the Bee Flies by a fly past male Orange Tip butterfly . It headed straight to the bottom , wettest , part of the site , closely persued by me and the camera . Eventually , he came to rest on a Violet , and gave the photo opportunity . I carried on looking for the Skipper or Hairstreak , when I was presented with a delima , do I photograph the Holly Blue that has just landed in front of me , or do I chase down the female Orange Tip that had just passed me . I went for the female Orange Tip , and soon after , I got the shot . I added a few more , when the male appeared , and attempted to mate with her . From the body language , she told him that she had a headache , so he just folded his wings and sulked in front of her . Also recorded were 5 Peacocks .
By this time , Carol was gasping for a cup of tea , I would have stayed all afternoon , but we headed back to the car . At the Orchid Bank , the Common Spotted Orchids are showing really well , and they seem to be much more numberous this year , but no sign yet of any Fly Orchids . Just before the car park , we found a good stand of Toothwort , in amongst the Wood Anemonies . When we got home , Carol got her cup of tea , and as we sat on the patio in the sun , a male Orange Tip paid the garden a visit . I folowed it down the garden , but it didn't stop for a shot , but on the Berberis Darwinii , I noticed another visitor , a male Holly Blue , identified as a male by the small amount of dark marking on the edge of the forewing . Also in the garden were 2 Speckled Woods , fighting of course , and a first of the year Large White .


Warren Baker said...

Good use was made of the afternoon sunshine Greenie. I have yet to find a Lizard on my patch.
I'm glad you were able to get re-aqauinted with the missus! (they do flag a bit after a while though)
What will Ken think of it all?

Ken Browne. said...

Now listen guys, are trying to give me a bad name, please don't make a habit of this,otherwise I am in big trouble, besides that Warren,, I think Greenie's better half told him he was taking her out,it just reads better this way
just kidding Fred).
What a good day you had Greenie, especialy for Butterflies.Nice pictures.