As I have Kent Butterfly Conservation members coming to High Elms for a filed trip tomorrow , concentrating mainly on Silver Washed Fritillaries , I thought I had better make sure all was in order before their visit . I decided to do the full Butterfly Transect , starting and finishing at the Golf course car park .
But first , a couple of moths that I came across during the visit . The first , one of the Plume moths , I wouldn't attempt to identify it further , and a Burnet moth with one wing missing , revealing the rarely seen hind wings . It might have been one wing short , but it didn't stop it mating .
The Butterfly Transect produced 19 species : Meadow Brown (230) , Gatekeeper (51) .Small Copper (4) , Ringlet (5) , Large White - pictured (6) , male with no dark markings on the topside of the forewing , just on the underside of that wing , and the larger female , with all the markings on that topside of the forewing . Peacock (5) , Small Skipper (3) , Essex Skipper (3) , Common Blue , including a pristine 2nd. brood male - pictured (14) , Large Skipper (1) , Brown Argus (6) -with most being freshly emerged females , identified by the orange spots reaching the leading edge of the forewing without fading . This shot also shows the lack of the spot between the 'boomerang' marking on the underside of the forewing and the abdomen in this species , which is present in the Common Blue .
The male Brown Argus , showing the fading orange spots and bluing of the abdomen .
Small White (6) , Green-veined White (1) , Speckled Wood (3) , Red Admiral (2) , Silver Washed Fritillary 12/15 , including a female , egg laying on the bark of a Scots Pine .One of several eggs found on that tree . When they hatch , the caterpillar will climb down the trunk , to feed on the Violets which surround the tree . Comma (4) , White Admiral (5) and Brimstone (6) .
After lunch , a quick look at Spring Park pond , to find that the travellers had been moved on , without any rubbish being left , and a sighting of the scruffiest Kestrel , hunting over the meadow . The Ringlets I recorded at High Elms were all very tatty , so I was surprised to find this pristine one around the pond .
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