Saturday, 4 June 2011

Saturday 4th. June 2011

I hadn't even got into the car this morning before the camera was in action . Whilst doing a few chores before going out , I spotted this specimen moving amongst the vegetation as if it was looking for it's breakfast . At the time I suspected a member of the Ichneumons , and this was later confirmed as Amblyteles armatorius .
Once chores were finished , I set off for High Elms to do the butterfly transect , although with the lack of specimens recently , for other Bloggers as well as myself , I wasn't too hopeful of the outcome . I was pleasantly surprised , when the first species I recorded was my first Small Skipper of the year , and even managed a second shortly afterwards . Mind you it was all downhill from there , with just six species , just 55 butterflies in total being recorded during the two hour transect , and although it wasn't wall to wall sunshine , the results were very poor indeed . On the Orchid Bank , I did get a flash of orange pass me at speed , assisted by a stiff breeze , that could have been the first Silver Washed Fritillary of the year , but I just didn't see enough of it to make a positive identification . The butterfly count was almost out done by the day flying moths seen , with lots of Nemophora degeerella , the small dancing moths found in sunny glades with long antennae , good numbers of Burnet Companion , a Heart and Dart and a Yellow Shell , that were sheltering in the ground vegetation . Once again , attention was drawn to the flower heads of the Ox-eye Daisies , as they seemed to hold some interest ,like this Chaffer type beetle , as yet unidentified ,this very colourful spider , also unidentified ,and this unidentified caterpillar , taking a chance on not becoming breakfast for a passing bird .Back in the woodland , this juvenile Speckled Bush Cricket posed nicely , and a bit further along the track towards Burnt Gorse , the Violet Helleborine/Epipactis purpurata is showing again this year , together with two other specimens , hopefully they will all flower and set seed later .From what I have read , the Harlequin Ladybird is having things all it's own way , so it was good to see things might not be as they seem . Most of the White Helleborines have gone over now , as have the few Fly Orchids that showed on the Orchid Bank , but the Broad-leaved Helleborines , with their characteristic nodding flower head , are waiting their turn to show off .
On the way back home for lunch , a stop at the old farmhouse confirmed that the Grey Wagtails have re-used their old nest site from last year , under the missing slates on the roof , and also that they have raised a brood , returning with bills full of food . Meanwhile , under the eaves , the House Martins were working hard to keep their growing youngsters happy , one of whom can just be seen above the adult's head .


Warren Baker said...

Where have all the flutters gone Greenie ? Is there such a thing as in between broods.

Nice HM photo :-)

Ken. said...

Hi Greenie. I think you will find that the green spider on the white flower/plant, is a female Araniella cucurbitina, one of the smallest orb web spiders.
Nice photo of the House Martin.

Rob said...

I love the cheeky Speckled Bush Cricket.
Are you sure that unID caterpillar isn't a dodgy Spanish cucumber?

Phil said...

No small or large skippers for me yet Greenie. Must be going to the wrong places. Nice House Martin shot, although I can't for the life in me see the juvenile. Also like the Speckled Bush Cricket, looks like it belongs on another planet.

ShySongbird said...

Like Phil, it was hunt the juvenile time for me :) Also like Phil, I
haven't seen any skippers yet this year.

Good news on the Grey Wagtails!

I too liked the Speckled Bush Cricket.

Greenie said...

Ken ,
Thanks very much for the spider ID . I still can't edit old posts , so will mention it on the beginning of my next one .

Rob ,
Wish I had thought of that comment re. the Cucumis sativus .

Phil / ShySongbird ,
Now , where do I start - senior moment , trouble with Blogger or wrong sort of glasses !
I did take a shot of a juvenile with head out of the nest , but can I find it now ? I've even searched the recycle bin , but no joy . I also had a lot of trouble downloading pictures to Blogger yesterday , which didn't help .
But bottom line , yet another senior moment , of which there seem to be more and more recently , is the most probable answer . As it used to say in my school reports , 'could do better' !