Saturday, 16 May 2009

Saturday 16th.May 2009

Back to the very strong winds and showers again today , but after after lunch , I took an old mate , who has recently had a knee replacement , on a slow walk to see the Early Purple Orchids that I posted a while back , as he had never seen this species . I got the car as close as I could , but the last bit had to be walked along uneven paths and across a field . At least the sun came out for short spells and the birdsong , above the whistle of the wind , made the walk worthwhile alone . A real chattering of House Sparrows welcomed us where we parked the car , and Goldfinches and Skylarks carried on where they left off . A couple of Swifts were feeding high and 5/6 Swallows could be heard conversing as they searched for food . As we left the path and started across the field , we started to feel the full force of the wind . A flash of colour across in front of us , made us look where it finished . I thought at first that it would be just a leaf , but it turned out to be my first Painted Lady of the year , and in not too bad a condition either , considering the reports that have been coming in recently . As we made our way across the field , we found Common Vetch , and also another member of the pea/legume family , the smaller Hairy Tare . These two made up most of the flowering across the field , but every now and again , a tiny splash of yellow , Hop Trefoil , just coming into flower , broke up the monotony . In the shelter on the far side of the field , a female Orange Tip was hanging on to a blade of grass , and close by , a Green Veined White was nectaring on Greater Stitchwort . Eventually , we made it to the Early Purple Orchid site , just inside a bit of woodland , and I was pleased to see that they were still in flower . The worst scenario would have been to get there and the Orchids having gone over , and my mate having to walk back without ant pictures . Some obviously had gone over , but most still were showing well . A close up shot of one of the top flowers fully open , shows well the upward pointing spur at the back , a good identifying point , along with the spotted leaves . The Bluebells were well past their sell by date , but the Pignut, a member of the Carrot family , was just coming into flower . I left my mate to photograph the Orchids , and I had a look around the woodland , and came across a quite large day flying , I think , moth . It definitely didn't want to be photographed , as it led me a merry dance for several minutes , then it seemed to run out of puff , and settled wings closed some way off . I got closer , and eventually got a side shot . I got round behind it , and slowly but surely , it started to unfold it's wings , revealing a dark stripe across the wing . After what seemed like a lifetime , and with me thinking it's going to fly off again any second , it opened it's wings and remained still on a leaf . I know I have seen this moth , or a picture before , but having spent some time searching this afternoon , I cannot put a name to it . I have a feeling that 'lace' is involved in it's name , but I wouldn't put money on it . Will someone please put me out of my misery .


Warren Baker said...

I'd like to put you out of your misery Greenie, but I can't help with the moth!

I think you did well with the butterflies today, the wind was so strong. Nice to see you finding the painted ladies at last. ;-)

ShySongbird said...

I think it's the Silver-ground Carpet Xanthorhoe montanata, Greenie. Have a look here.

I hope I'm right.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
It 's not like you to be stuck. I have checked my books and web sites, and the closest I can come up with is the same as ShySongbird. Glad your having a nice weekend

Greenie said...

ShySongbird ,
That is it ! I knew it had something to do with lace ?
Thanks very much , it would have been a restless night if you hadn't solved it .

Ken ,
Thanks very much for your input .
Got your Ladybird , but can't help with the green pair .