Saturday, 16 April 2011

Saturday 16th. April 2011

After yesterday's excitement , today was much quieter . I spent a couple of hours up on the Common before lunch , hoping to find the butterfly found yesterday afternoon , to get a better shot of it , but it was nowhere to be found . The Kent Butterfly recorder has looked at my shot , and it's a 'might be' , and he has sent it on to others for their opinion . I still await the decision . I was pleased to find at least 7 Brimstones on the Common today , including three females laying eggs on the Buckthorn that we didn't clear over the Winter . I watched them for quite some time , and once again , it was the young , just opening leaves that they were interested in using , not the leaves that had been open for several days , and therefor tougher . I even watched one female lay her egg on the branch of the Buckthorn , adjacent to a bud that had hardly opened at all . Whilst amongst the Buckthorn , I spotted a red/black beetle , resting on an Oak sapling . I only had one chance of a shot , and the light was not good . I knew I hadn't seen it before , but didn't have a clue what it was . Since getting home , I have done a bit of digging , and think it is Corizus hyoscyami , a species that was rare and found only in dunes on the South coast , but now starting to be found further inland . Also found on a felled trunk , The Hawthorn Shield Bug . Many thanks to Dean/DDD for pointing out that this in fact the Sloe Bug/Dolycoris baccarum . One of the egg laying Brimstone females was found by a wandering male , who proceeded to court her , with the obvious intent to mate . I followed him , following her , over quite a distance , but , after several minutes , the pair rose higher and higher , eventually disappearing over the surrounding trees and out of sight . I returned home for lunch , and afterwards headed for Burnt Gorse at High Elms , again in search of early Skippers and maybe a Green Hairstreak . As is usually the way , my arrival meant the departure of the sun , but I still spent an hour and a half wandering . I did find some butterflies , including 2 Peacocks , one pictured , but not the species I was hoping for . 4 Orange Tip , 4 Brimstone , 1 Small Tortoiseshell , 1 Speckled Wood and a Small White were also recorded . A few more wild flowers were found ,Herb Robert/Geranium robertianum , a member of the Geranium family , Bugle/Ajuga reptans and , Yellow Archangel /Lamiastrum galeobdolon , both members of the Labiate family , and the first Lords and Ladies/Arum maculatum , found this year with it's finger-like purple spadix showing within it's pale green hooded spathe . On the way home , as I passed the horse field on the bottom lane , a girl was grooming a horse that I recognised from yesterday . I stopped and had a chat , and was told that it had got out a couple of times over the Winter , but she has never found where it manages to do so . She told me that the horse's nickname is 'Houdini' , so it might appear again on this blog .


ShySongbird said...

You're really teasing us with that butterfly Greenie, I hope it's going to turn out to be good after all this build up :)

Lovely photo of the Brimstone, I haven't persuaded one to cooperate, this time yet.

I haven't seen any Herb Robert so far, as I said to Dean yesterday, it seems early but they said on the TV that the Bluebells are two weeks early this year.

I'm glad 'Houdini' is still in the field...for now!

Anonymous said...

Greenie, looking at your Shieldbug, i`d say it was a Sloe and not Hawthorn.

Greenie said...

Dean ,
Thanks for spotting that .
Yet another senior moment , trouble is , they seem to be coming more often !

Phil said...

Hi Greenie. Looking forward to the final chapter on the butterfly mystery, what a tease you are!
Nice Brimstone egg laying shot. Where have I seen something similar recently??

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Greenie, some really nice varied stuff there, there is so much to look at, at the moment, which shows nicely in your blog :-) I'll will be eagerly awaiting your next post for the butterfly mystery to become unravelled!!