Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sunday 26th.April 2009

A much warmer and sunnier day than what was forecast . I thought I would go back to Burnt Gorse , High Elms , and see if I could get a pair of Skippers or Green Hairstreak .
Although it was only 0930 when I arrived , in the sheltered areas , it was already quite warm . I first searched for Green Hairstreaks , and very soon , found several males , most involved in aerial combat for the best posing positions . Even though they have only been emerged for a short while , battle damage is already visible , either combat with another male or a bird strike . This shot does give the chance to see the colour of the topside of the wing , a mid brown , not usually seen , as they always land and close their wings immediately . Although I did not see a pair together , they obviously have been , because already , females are egg laying on the favoured food plant , Bird's Foot Trefoil . Once again , when the eating machine hatches , the supermarket door is wide open in front if it . The single Dingy Skipper that I found last visit is no longer alone , as I recorded 8 in total , including a couple of females .
The female being identified by being much darker than the male below .
At one stage , I thought I had seen a Common Blue , I know they have already been recorded in Kent , but , when I chased it down , it turned out to be a male Holly Blue . My attention was drawn to a whitish butterfly , flying around what I thought to be a dead tree , but on closer inspection , it turned out to be a female Brimstone , egg laying . Being higher there than on the Common , the Buckthorn trees are only just bursting bud . Strange , because I was talking to one of the Rangers on my last visit about the possibility of planting a few Buckthorn trees for the Brimstones , no need now . Still very little flower colour , but the Wild Strawberry is doing it's best to cheer things up . Also , just starting to flower is the Salad Burnett . Eventually , the whole
head will be covered with these superb little pink flowers . Whilst on site , I managed my first shot of female Large White of the year . She is the largest of the white butterflies that we see .
I had several sightings of a colourful micro moth , found usually on chalk grassland that goes by the name of Pyrausta purpualis . By the time I left , it was getting very warm and sightings were dropping off . I watched one male Brimstone , fly slowly along a fenceline , then disappear from sight . When I looked , he was suspended under a leaf , using it as a parasol .
In total , 11 species of butterfly were recorded , one more than last visit , that being Small White .
Birdwise , I recorded 26 species , nothing fantastic , the best being Bullfinch , Swallow ,Blackcap , Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff . Plus one that I never saw , but heard . A call I hadn't heard before . It was in Scots Pines , and I wrote it's call in my notebook as -' chip it x3 , with the occassional x4' . I pondered on Crossbill at the time , but I never saw it . My book describes a Crossbill's call as jip-jip , just maybe it was , but we shall never know for sure .
Only other sighting were two Roe Deer , one stag and one ? , as I only saw the rear end .


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie. A female Roe Deer is called a Doe. What a nice number and variety of Butterflies you saw. What I wouldn't give to see that many. Well done

ShySongbird said...

Another fascinating and thoroughly absorbing Nature walk with you Greenie and lovely photos again.

My husband said how on earth does he get so close to butterflies without them flying away, 'Super Glue', I said!!