Friday, 10 June 2011

Friday 10th. June 2011

After getting a message from a friend that there were now 70/80 Dark Green Fritillaries on the wing at Lullingstone Golf Course , I set off in blue skies and little wind to see for myself . By the time I arrived at Lullingstone , the sun was gone , behind grey clouds , and the wind had got up too . As I parked the car , this Wren announced that I was on site , or was he laughing at the thought of seeing butterflies in these conditions . I had to lighten the picture to be able to see the bird . Regardless , I headed up to the Orchid Bank and started looking for the Fritillaries . Half an hour later , all I had turned up was a few Meadow Browns , and a Small Skipper that grabbed the opportunity to get some warmth from my finger with both hand , so to speak . I did find 3/4 Lace Border moths , a species that I have done well with recently , and on a Ragwort plant , ten caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth . Eventually , I did find a couple of roosting Dark Green Fritillaries , and , like the Small Skipper , this male was only too happy to get warmth from my finger . In fact , given the air temperature , he was quite happy with whatever I did , as long as I didn't turf him off my finger . A close up of his head shows the proboscis , rolled up at present , but unrolled , ideal for reaching deep into flowers to get to the nectar . At the moment , there doesn't seem to be many specimens of the lilac/white Greater Knapweed , the majority being plain mauve . A look at the three Lizard Orchids showed that they have almost reach maturity , and a close up shows how they get their common name . With no sign of a change in the weather , I decided to have another look for the Green-flowering Helleborines . The rain of last weekend seems to have done the job , as 10/12 specimens are showing now . Not the most colourful Orchids by any means , but scarce , this being the only Kent site I believe . In the last visit of the morning , a return to the largest colony of Deptford Pinks in the country , that shouldn't be in flower until next month , and were not showing last Friday . A fellow blogger visited the site on Wednesday , and once again , the weekend rain had done the trick . Small numbers were found scattered along the track , then , an abundance of blooms to finish with . 300 plus was the estimate , and I certainly wouldn't argue with that figure . Beautiful little flowers , each no bigger than the flower of the Herb Robert/Geranium robertianum . As I was photographing the Pinks , the wind got up even stronger , and turning around , this was what was approaching . I headed back for the car , only stopping on the way to get a couple of shots of Weld/Reseda luteola , a member of the Mignonette family , and , like the Wild Mignonette , made up of lots of small flowers .
As I reached the car , I could hear Bullfinches calling to each other , and tried to find them in the canopy , but the first spots could be felt , and the Bullfinches would have to wait for another day . As I left the parking area the spots became heavy drizzle . By the time I reached the main road , torrential rain was lashing down , continuing all the way home .
And finally , a couple of insects , as yet unidentified , found at Lullingstone , again on Ox-eye Daisy flowers .I think both could be members of the Miridae family/ Mirid or Capsid Bugs , but as usual , I stand to be corrected and any help would be appreciated .


Phil said...

Hi Greenie.
I think your second bug might be Calocoris Roseomaculatus, as you say, a Capsid. No luck with the first yet.

Phil said...

Me again Greenie. I think the first bug might be the nymph stage of Calocoris Roseomaculatas, the second being the adult......maybe!

Rob said...

What an amazing variety of stuff!

I just found Lizard orchid in the IoW flora index and - excited - turned to page 192 where it says: 'Lizard Orchid. Extinct.'

Mike H said...

Hi greenie,

Another amazing blog with so much detail Great shots of the DG Frits.

Managed a trip to Old Lodge yesterday great day despite the rain thanks again for the directions.


ShySongbird said...

Great close up of the DGF Greenie! Another very interesting post, I feel I might have seen the Deptford Pink somewhere locally but just can't think where and as I know it is quite scarce I may well be wrong. It is a lovely little flower.

Lovely photos throughout!