Friday, 7 May 2010

Friday 7th.May 2010

A much cloudier day today , with very few sunny breaks in the morning . A sign of better things to come , fooled me into heading for Burnt Gorse at High Elms . Very soon after my arrival , the clouds rolled in again . I did have time to record just 4 Dingy Skippers before the clouds , then as they were not flying , went looking for where they were sheltering .
On the left hand stem of Dog Rose in this shot is where I found the fourth one recorded , well camouflaged , half way down . Almost invisible from this direction , but showing better moving 90 degrees around the stem . The only other species recorded were 2 Green Hairstreaks , both feeding on the highest flowers of their favourite Wayfarer bush . Obviously not warm enough for aerial battles today . As there was very little chance of any more butterflies , I started having a general look around the vegetation on the boundaries of the grassland . Another Wayfarer flower caught my attention , not for the flowers , but for what was laying in ambush on it . Like a Chameleon , this Crab Spider has likened it's colour to that of the Wayfarer flower , and is now sitting tight , waiting for an unsuspecting visitor / meal . The spider is well named , from this angle , looking like a Hermit Crab . Also nectaring on the Wayfarer flowers were lots of these flies , which I think could be
one of the Snipe Flies - Thereva nobilitata , but as usual , I stand to be corrected . These flies have a proboscis , similar to that of the Robber-flies , but not as large . Finding very little else of interest , I decided to check on the Birdsnest Orchids . On the way down to the bottom gate , I found wildlife in it's rawest state , with natural selection/deselection , going on between the two species that I had been photographing . Another Crab Spider had caught one of the Snipe Flies , and was having it for lunch . And no Warren , I didn't catch the fly and give it to the spider for the photograph .
Still no sign of the BNOrchids , but whilst looking , in an area of about 4 square metres , I found at least 25 White Helleborine plants pushing through the leaf litter . A couple had been nibbled , but it's looking good for them again , having counted over 150 flowering plants last year .
Sad news to finish . Having called in at the Common before getting home , my hopes for the LTTits that I posted feeding young , were dashed , when I found their nest had been ripped apart . There are always Magpies and Jays in the glade and surrounding area , and one of these was probably the culprit . So easy to sit up high and watch the coming and going .


Phil said...

Fascinating stuff Greenie. I know where there is a Wayfarer bush down New Hythe so I will look closely at it next time I pass. I'm glad those Crab Spiders are only small otherwise I wouldn't walk past the bush at all!

Warren Baker said...

Those Green Hairstreaks fascinate me Greenie, much as the Purple Streaks do :-) I'll keep looking for one, but I dont hold much hope on my patch.

ShySongbird said...

I really do like those Green Hairstreaks, Greenie, the colour is so unusual, sort of jade. I'm not sure whether I have ever seen one, if I have it's certainly not for a year or two.

The Dingy Skipper was certainly well camouflaged, very easily missed!

What a shame about the LTTs but such is Nature I suppose :(

Thanks for the follow up on the Birsfoot Trefoil. You got me hunting around also and I came up with a few more names...butter and eggs, Devil’s fingers, Dutchman’s clogs, hen and chickens, granny’s toenails. That last one sounds a bit grotty! I also found your name for it and mine so I suspect a lot depends on which part of the country we live in.

ShySongbird said...

I did of course mean Birdsfoot with a d!