I will never learn . I sat at breakfast , and heard the forecast , cloud burning off by mid morning , sunny afternoon , 26C .With the sun and that temperature , I decided to give Gatwick another go for Brown Hairstreak . I left home in sun , but within 10 minutes , it was gone , not to be seen again , in the Gatwick area , til 2.30 pm. , and then rarely , with a cool wind . Just the sort of conditions you don't want , for any species of butterfly , and especially not for BHs . With that temperature forecasted , I just went in a T shirt , big mistake . But it did make me keep on the move , rather than standing still . Checking out the Water Mint , that was covered in insects on the last visit , there was hardly anything to be seen , apart from a Silver Y day flying moth , that flew a few feet in front of me . I followed , and thought , if it works for butterflies and Crickets , I wonder . The first attempt , it flew off again , but took up the second offer to warm up on my hand . In the same area , I disturbed a Grey Wagtail , that was fossicking on a mudbank in the small river . It called and flew off , but I could not find it again . I did find an adult Kestrel , maybe the one I saw last time , but no sign of the youngsters . Along the footpath , there were signs of Autumn , with Yew fruits , in various stages of development . The fruits which are known as arils , are not poisonous , but the seeds contained within are . You might not wish to know this , but around the Country , the arils are called 'Snotty Gogs' or 'Snottle Berries' . Also showing bright red , were the fruits of the Guelder Rose-Viburnum opulus , a member of the Honeysuckle family . The small river is dominated in this length by Himalayan Balsalm and in some parts it covers the river from one bank to the other . In one small clear section , I found an unusually leaved water plant , Arrowhead-Sagittaria sagittifolia , obviously named after the flower . By midday , with no sign of the sun , I decided to try my luck on the other side of the airport , still alongside the same small river . I had been to this site once , and the amount of Blackthorn is enormous , but it still didn't produce any BHs. The sun did appear , spasmodically , but not enough to encourage any to show themselves . By 3 o'clock , I decided to give in , but decided at the last moment , to have one last look around the other side . I must admit , the weather was better than before , but still very windy there . Nothing on the Blackthorn , a last look at the Water Mint patch produced three Painted Ladies , two very neat , one definitely not . Just as I was about to leave , I spotted a Clouded Yellow right at the back , and as I reached for the camera , it flew along the bank , with me chasing , then across the river and over the trees . That just about sums up my day I thought , but at least that was my fourth specimen this year . By now I was knackered , and headed back to the car . As I crossed an open area with lots of Bird's Foot Trefoil in flower , another Clouded Yellow appeared . I dumped my bag and gave chase . CYs only stop briefly to nectar , then fly really fast , especially if you are chasing . It's a matter of trying to keep up , to be in position to get a shot before it's off again . During the chase , another appears , could this be a pair that will mate I thought , but my hopes were dashed by the body language of two males , each wanting rid of the other . Once again , it wasn't till I got home and edited the shots , that I found that I had managed to fluke another open winged shot of the second specimen , albeit more blurry than the Fackenden shot . So the excitement of the last 20 minutes , made up somewhat for a bad weather , bad sighting day . I've just checked last night's blog , and with no guesses made , the plant in flower that we never give a second look at was Mugwort-Artemisia vulgaris , a member of the Daisy family .
14 hours ago