Sunday, 18 April 2010

Sunday 18th.April 2010

With another day of wall to wall sunshine forecasted , I felt robbed that I could only snatch an hour of the day to search for butterflies , or anything else , up on the Downs .
Even at 10.30 am. , out of the sun , there was still a residual chill from a sub zero overnight temperature . Nevertheless , the first butterfly found was a female Orange Tip , which I followed along a track , until she decided to stop and feed on a Common Dog Violet , giving a good view of the underwing , which , if the wings are closed , makes for a very good camouflage from predators . Out in the open , the sun was warming things up very nicely , and this 7 Spot Ladybird was taking full advantage , perched on a Silver Birch twig . When I reached a kissing gate , I noticed a couple of flashes of colour , that turned out to be my first Green Hairstreaks of the year . Needless to say , two males , fighting over the real estate . this one posed nicely on the end of a cut Bramble . This species is very easily overlooked as their underwing green blends in so well with the vegetation , and the top wing , plain and unmarked brown , makes it very difficult to follow in flight .
The most numerous species seen was the Peacock , followed closely by the Brimstone , with both males and females , some looking to lay eggs on their foodplant , the Buckthorn . This female was just exhausted , as I had watched her being persued relentlessly by a male , until he gave up , and she collapsed into the grass . I recorded one Comma , but no sign of either Dingy or Grizzled Skippers , which was disappointing .
I also came across two male Adders , 7 Slow Worms and 2 Common Lizards .
On the roadside bank , near where I parked the car , Common Field Speedwell is already in flower .


Warren Baker said...

Ive got to find myself one of those Green hairstreaks!

Phil said...

An action packed hour Greenie. Fantastic shot of the Green Hairstreak, couldn't really have posed better for you could it.

Kingsdowner said...

Well done with the green streak. Excellent shot.