Thursday, 1 July 2010

Thursday 1st.July 2010

With cloud cover and a stiff breeze this morning , the temperature was down , but , by 0830 , the cloud cleared , out came the sun and the temperature rose quickly . By the time I got to the Purple Hairstreak's master tree up on the Common , the humidity was started to rise as well . I stood vigil for over 30 minutes , and didn't see a single movement , apart from that on the branches bu the breeze . I started recording them on the 2nd. last year and the 3rd. the year before , and I was sure that with the hot weather recently , they would have emerged early this year , but it is not to be . A quick look around two of the glades , revealed 8 Large Skipper ,13 Ringlet and 9 Meadow Brown .
Leaving the Common , I headed for High Elms to do the full butterfly survey . The first record of the day was a Hornet , but then the butterflies started to be found , and two and a half hours later , the result was : Meadow Brown ( including a mating pair pictured - 257 ) , Ringlet (190) ,
Small Skipper ( a real explosion here with 39 , including one female trying to evade the advances of two males , down in the long grass - pictured ) , Marbled White ( 3 , one at one end and two at Burnt Gorse at the other end of the reserve ) , Common Blue ( 2 very tatty remnants of the first brood ) , Large Skipper (7) , Brown Argus (1 , poor showing on first brood , hope second will do better ) , Speckled Wood (5) , White Admiral ( at least 3 seen at same time , several other sightings also , but as they were so mobile , could not be sure that they were all different individuals ) , Dingy Skipper (1 - must still be from the first brood , as possible second brood would not be about till August ) , Silver Washed Fritillary ( positive 2 , possibly more , but once again , being so active , impossible to get a true number , only managed these two shots before he was away again ) , and a single Peacock , that is definitely not from the new brood , and is the only one I have seen for quite a while now . A total of 12 species , and numbers starting to grow on many of them . Whilst on Burnt Gorse , came across Common Centaury-Centaurium erythraea .
After lunch , I had to go into town , and on the way back , had a short visit to Spring Park Pond .

I first checked the Peacock caterpillars , which have reduced dramatically in number , but the odd one or two have grown to full size and hopefully will pupate successfully into adults . Several other webs in various stages of development were also found . With thin cloud starting to close in , the activity on the pond was mainly with Broad Bodied Chasers (7) , including this ovipositing female . See how that earlier vibrant colour has faded now . The BBCs were in continuous battle with a pair of Emperor Dragonflies , and the female was ovipositing too . Damselflies were represented with Large Red , Common and Azure Blue , many of which were ovipositing in tandem . Another quick sighting of White Admiral here too , and a couple of seconds later , a Red Admiral appeared looking for either moisture or minerals . Just before posting , I had a phone cal;l from fellow enthusiast Keith . He had made a quick visit to High Elms after work , and he too was rewarded with White Admiral , a mating pair of Silver Washed Fritillaries and a very fresh White Letter Hairstreak , brilliant .


Warren Baker said...

I was also looking for P. Hairstreak today Greenie - none found yet here either.

Kingsdowner said...

Great to see the high-summer butterflies emerging.
Gives you more material for your forthcoming illustrated book "The Joy of Bug Sex".

Anonymous said...

A good selection of butters there, Greenie. Ringlets are the most numerous where i am. They must be touching 500+.

Phil said...

No Purple Hairstreaks evident at New Hythe yesterday either. I'll check again on monday probably.

ShySongbird said...

A lovely collection of flutters Greenie. When you said to Warren and myself the other day that we definitely MUST have seen Ringlets before you were certainly right in my case at least, they were everywhere yesterday so I must have seen them other years without realising. I found it very difficult to get them with their wings open though!