Friday, 31 July 2009

Friday 31st.July 2009

With a better forecast for the morning than the afternoon , I was out early up on the Common , after quite a cool night . Before even reaching the Ash tree , I spotted a Painted Lady down in the grass . With apologies to those fed up with PL shots , I just feel that as we will probably never see so many in the country again , we should make the most of it . I slowly approached her , then got down in front , and managed to get the camera within 25 cms. of her . I can only think that she was still cold from the night , and stayed still for my shots . I got about half a dozen , then she showed signs of moving , and in a split second from still , she was up and away over the adjacent trees . I made my way over to the Ash , where there was a fair bit of movement , but nothing like a couple of weeks ago . The odd one or two dropped down onto the lower vegetation , but only for a short time , before they too were off . This one is definitely showing wear and tear now . I was just about to leave and have a look around when I noticed a male Scorpion Fly-Panorpa cognata , and in the position he was in , showing well his beak and scorpion type tail . The female has just an ovipositor at the end of her abdomen . Whilst walking around . I found a couple of specimens with out of the ordinary colour/marking . The first was a Small Copper , with most of the copper margin on the hind wing missing . This species is prone to variation , and even albinos are recorded . The second was one of the large number of Gatekeepers recorded on the site , with the spots that are usually seen just on the underwing , showing through on the topwing . On one of the heathland areas , I found a Holly Blue , freshly emerged . I'm pretty sure it was a male , but only saw the topwing when it flew , and there didn't seem to be large dark markings on the forewings . In all , 15 species were recorded , being , Purple Hairstreak (15/20) , Painted Lady (16) , Gatekeeper (100+) , Meadow Brown (13) , Small Copper (1) , Common Blue (6) , Small Skipper (1) , Large White (7) , Holly Blue (1) , Small White (3) , Green Veined White (2) , Peacock (2) , Speckled Wood (3) , Ringlet (2) and Brimstone (3) , which were all fresh , meaning that they have emerged without me finding a single chrysalis , but not for want of trying . Only other thing of interest , was my first Tawny Grisette-Amanita fulva , according to the books , an Autumn species . Like all members of the Aminita family , the stem emerges out of a large bag-like volva .
After lunch , and cleaning the windows , the sky just got less cloudy by the minute , till there wasn't one to be seen at all . I decided to go back onto the Common , to check on the Small Tortioseshell caterpillars . Their stand of Nettles was bathed in sunshine , and it looks as though the colony has dispersed from the silk tent , although I did see a couple on other stems , so hopefully , all goes well . On the same Nettle , I found a Speckled Bush-Cricket , and the antennae rule of thumb certainly works with this one . A few weeks ago , I mentioned that PHs feed on Blackberries , when they are well ripe . Warren queried this , and probably thought , what's the silly old *** talking about . Well , today , in the tangle of Nettles and Brambles behind the Small Tortoiseshell's stand , had several PHs moving about . Risking life and limb , again , I cut , pushed my way into the jungle , and post the last two shots for Warren .

As I said at the time , as the fruit becomes over-ripe , the PHs feed on the sweet juices , and become much more approachable , if , you can get through the jungle .

3 comments:

Warren Baker said...

well done greenie,
I looked on the Blackberries today, but no ph's around.

Nice to see you using the 'A' word!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie
The things you do for Warren. It is always nice to see photo's of Butterflies as their never with us for that long. Great Scorpion Fly shot.
How have you found the Ladybird influx over your way Greenie?
Have a good weekend.

Dean said...

Thanks for posting the aberrant butters, Greenie. They`re something i always keep a look out for.