Thursday, 30 July 2009

Thursday 30th. July 2009

The morning was spent taking Carol to do the monthly shop , but before going , this juvenile Magpie was on the neighbour's conifer , still showing , like many of the Corvid family white patches on the black . Shopping done , we had lunch , and in reasonable weather , I set off for a look around the farm lake . When I arrived , the wind was getting up and cloud gathering . The usual Gatekeeper , Meadow Brown and Green Veined White were recorded , this one on Hogweed . Also recorded were several Painted Ladies . Funny how in previous years , a single sighting in a day was good , now , they seem to be everywhere . I had only got half way around the lake , when , without warning , the heavens opened , and I had to dash for cover , working my way back to the car . I'm glad I did so , as the rain became almost torrential just after I got there . The rain seemed set in , so I decided to go to High Elms to see a Ranger that has been trying to contact me . After sitting in the car park for a good while , the rain finally stopped , and I went to the Ranger's office , only to find he had taken the day off . The sun came out again , so I headed for the Conservation Field . No sign of White Letter Hairstreaks , but I did find a very tatty Dark Green Fritillary , that was spooked by the next rain shower , just as the camera focused on it . More Painted Ladies were recorded here . I moved on towards Burnt Gorse , and as I stopped to check out the Buddleia where the WLH was sighted , the heavens opened again , and I had to take shelter under a Willow , that gave amazing cover given the amount of rain falling . 10/15 minutes later the sun came out again , and it was interesting to see that even before the rain stopped completely , Red Admiral , Green Veined White and Comma , were down and basking . Walking up to Burnt Gorse , the drips from the trees was almost the same as standing out in the rain , but getting into the sunshine on Burnt Gorse soon dried things out . A plant that seems to be spreading quickly there is White Melilot , a member of the Pea family . A plant that is coming to the end of it's flowering is Agrimony , a member of the Rose family , and the gone over flowers produce burrs , that will attach to anything that they touch , thus spreading the seeds far afield . There are still plenty of Silver Washed Fritillaries to be seen , but their condition , especially the males , are very variable . This one having lost almost one quarter of it's wing surface through aerial battles and mating , but still flying strongly . The females are still doing their duty , at one stage , in a sunny interlude , I had three egglaying on two trees in front of me . For once , this female didn't bother about laying on the shady side of the trunk , which made the photography easier . The end of her abdomen can be seen secreting the egg into a fissure in the bark . While the weather was holding , I checked the Hemp Agrimony at the Orchid Bank , but no sign of WLHs . There was a female Large White , resting in the sunshine , and also , a pair of Small Whites , mating close to the ground . I was making my way back to the car , when I met Keith , the chap from the Ash tree on the Common . He was there for the WLHs as well . As the sun was still out , we went back to the Orchid Bank and Burnt Gorse , but still didn't find any . On Burnt Gorse we found the odd Common Blue and a single male Brown Argus . After about an hour we started back , and as we approached the Buddleia where we had met , we found a White Admiral nectaring on the flowers , a little bit tatty now , but always a good species to find . The underwing in particular had lost all that vibrant colour that it had when it had freshly emerged a few weeks ago . Last stop was at the Violet Helleborines , which , at this time of day , were bathed in sunshine . A most enjoyable , and unexpected last hour to the day , which had started very changeable , but finished in warm late afternoon sunshine .
My thanks go , once again to Dean , for identifying yesterday's moth as a Light Emerald , I knew 'the man' would know .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No probs, Greenie. Only too pleased to be able to help.

I`m very envious of the variety of species down your way. Oh!!!, to live in a southerly clime.