Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Tuesday 26th. April 2011

Just 12C. on the car thermometer , as I arrived up on the Downs this morning , and with a stiff breeze blowing from the NE , even when the sun peered through , it was still cool . I wondered if the different conditions would produce different results with the reptiles , but apart from a large female Adder , that I have been expecting to see for the last few visits , nothing had changed . Just her , 9 Slow Worms and a single Common Lizard , was all that was recorded today . It was a good job that some of the flowers had come into flower , including the Horseshoe Vetch/Hippocrepis comosa , similar to Bird's-foot-Trefoil , which is also flowering , but not so robust . An important plant , as it is the foodplant of the Chalkhill Blue which will hopefully on the wing in July/August . Also in flower this visit was it's relation Sainfoin/Onobrychis viciifolia , the pair of them being members of the Pea family . Even in the cool conditions , I recorded my first Small Heath of the year , a pristine male . The conditions didn't stop the business in hand for this female Green Hairstreak ( sorry Warren ) , as she meticulously chose where she was going to lay her eggs . The species will use several plants , Dogwood , Broom , Gorse , Bird's-foot-trefoil , or , as in this case Common Rock Rose . I watched her for quite some time , and after she moved on , I found one of those eggs that she had laid , tucked down in the tender new leaves of the plant .
Day flying moths were also found in numbers , with 15+ Treble Bar , 5+ Burnet Companion , pictured , so it won't be long before the Burnet Moths show , as it's name denotes , and yet another member of the Pyrausta family , P. nigrata , although they shouldn't be on the wing for another month , several were seen today . Before leaving , a check on the Early Purple Orchids revealed 44 flower spikes , with most flowers now fully open . On the bottom track , 1000s of tiny yellow flowers on the Crosswort has turned the green ground vegetation yellow .
Two species found need some searching , but I'll post them whilst doing so , an insect with Wasp markings on the abdomen and orange legs and antennae , and after much digging and head scratching , I think this Wasp-like insect is in fact a Bee - Nomada goodeniana . I'm sure this has come up before , just a shame the old grey matter can't retain the information these days .
and a moth , which I think is not a day flier , as it was being buffeted about by that wind badly .
Once again , I am endebted to Dean/DDD , who has identified the moth as a Lace Border , thanks Dean .


Dean said...

Greenie, i can help with the moth and what a cracker of a Lace Border it is.

Warren Baker said...

I'll be over to nick those hairstreak eggs Greenie :-)

I dont think i've got any of those plant species needed for GH to lay eggs on :-(

Phil said...

Good stuff again Greenie.Looks like I chose the right day to see the Adders didn't I.
Do butterflies droop their antennas when they are egg laying, i've noticed this with your shots and also mine of the Holly Blues lately.

Ken. said...

Hi Greenie.
Seems as if you picked a good day for moth watching,
Have a good day out with Phil tomorrow.

ShySongbird said...

A good mixed bag again Greenie. Lovely photo of the orchid, glad to hear they are doing well.

Like Warren, I would love to see a Green Hairstreak but don't think I ever have.

The Wessex Reiver said...

Hi Greenie, I'm trying to ID your wasp like insect, I'll check at home with my books. It is worth putting the photo onto the fantastic i-spot site run by the Open University, sure to be ID'd, there http://www.ispot.org.uk/

The Wessex Reiver said...

Hi Greenie, the insect is a nomada bee, but from the photo neither myself or a colleague can be exactly sure as there are many nomada bees which look similar. It is probably the 'fairly' common Nomada goodeniana


These are parasitic on solitary bees. Hope that helps. Andrew

Simon said...

Great orchid flower shot, wonderful to see the Green Hairstreak egg laying!