Waking up early this morning , I decided to put my theory of why fewer reptiles have been found over the last week to ten days . I had put it down to 'too hot too quick' , so arriving up on the Greensand Ridge well earlier than I would do normally to look for animals , should improve things . An hour or so later , just one male Adder had been found , and he was already moving under cover , so my new theory was blown to pieces , even before it got on the drawing board . The early hour did have it's advantages though , the softer light giving a soft image to a fresh Speckled Wood . Also found were good numbers of Oak Apples , the work of the gall wasp Biorhiza pallida , and in what seemed like every shaft of sunlight , masses of the males of the moth Adela reaumurella , impossible to focus on when in flight as they all went up together , a bit easier when they settled back down again , with their long antennae blowing in the breeze . With my continued failure to find reptiles , I headed for Burnt Gorse at High Elms to check up again on early Skippers . Almost immediately , I found my first day flying , migrant moth from the continent , the Silver Y , not surprising given our weather compared to where it had come from . Not long afterwards , I found the first of 5 Grizzled Skippers , all in pristine condition , but still no sign of Dingy Skipper . I also recorded 3 pristine Green Hairstreaks , but none willing to come down to be photographed . Down in the shade at the bottom of the slope , male on Dandelion and female on Bugle , Brimstones were found , whilst another female was egg laying on a large Buckthorn . 5 other butterfly species were also recorded .
After lunch , and with the temperature at 24C. , I went for a look at Spring Park Pond . The first butterfly seen was the first of 4 Holly Blues , all of which were female , going by the size , as none were willing to show their top wing . The Large Red Damselfly seen on the last visit is no longer 'Billy no mates' , as two more males have joined him . Also on the emergent vegetation were several Alder Flies/Sialis lutaria , a species Ken and I found at New Hythe on Monday . Around the bank , Bush Vetch/Vicia sepium is in flower and attracting insects . The water was alive with tadpoles , Whirligig Beetles , Pond Skaters and plenty of Smooth/Common Newts . Many of the females were keeping to the margins , like this one , out of the way of males , but those that did run the gauntlet further out , had to put up with the attention of males with one thing on their minds . Much male tail flicking was seen , but very difficult to photograph as the surface was disturbed . Other butterfly species recorded included Peacock , Brimstone Speckled Wood and Green-veined White . A female Orange tip flew through and stopped at every flowering Garlic Mustard/Jack-by-the-Hedge plant , but never laid an egg , When she left , I checked the flower heads , and every one , had already had an egg deposited on it , like the orange spot just right of centre on this shot . The reason she didn't lay a second on any of the plants is because the caterpillars are cannibalistic towards others if on the same plant . Just before leaving , this Small Tortoiseshell came to cool down on the edge , before continuing on .
Lastly , help please with these three .
I thought this moth found on Burnt Gorse might have been Mother of Pearl , but it isn't . Thanks to Dean/DDD for identifying it as a Common Wave .
What I can only describe as a 'flowering stick' , at Spring Park Pond .and this bruiser , about 25mm long . I'm pretty sure it's an Ichneumon Wasp , but can't ID it at the moment . I thought the black/white antennae would help , but many of the species have them .
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