My plan last night was to get out early this morning , to do the full butterfly transect at High Elms , before the temperature got too high . I pulled off the drive just after 0800 , the car thermometer read 20C , blue skies and warm sunshine . So much for planning . The conditions , with practically no wind , were perfect for spotting Purple Hairstreaks , so I made a quick stop on the Common , having found the species emerged yesterday . The glade that the Ash tree stands in was in full sunshine , but after 20 minutes watching , just 2 PHs were seen high in the Ash and showing no signs of coming down to the Bracken below . It just showed how lucky I was to find that one yesterday , in poor butterfly conditions . A pristine Red Admiral made the book , but not the lens , but a freshly emerged Comma , with the 'normal' underwing , as opposed to the golden underwing of the 'hutchinsoni' form , did pose .
The transect at High Elms started very well , with six Marbled Whites compared to two recorded in the rough triangle of grass . Several male Ringlets were found fighting over a recently emerged female , whose wings had not even finished opening . When given the opportunity , she was quite happy for a rest on my finger , away from the males . In all , 138 Ringlets were recorded today . A smart female could not be used to describe this female Common Blue , one of two recorded , they must surely be the last of the first brood of this species . As expected , Meadow Browns were the largest species recorded , with 225 found , including three mating pairs , one pair pictured . Burnt Gorse produced more Marbled Whites , in all 18 were recorded , including this recently emerged male . As I said yesterday , Large Skipper have done well this year , they seem to have been on the wing for ages , and although this specimen is starting to fade , there was nothing wrong with it's ability to get to the nectar in this Self-heal , using that incredible tongue , 7 in total recorded . The small glade once again produced two male , identified by the four dark bars across the forewing , but I also found another two in another small glade near the Orchid Bank . Other species recorded were , Small Skipper (49) , Large White (6) , Speckled Wood (2) , Red Admiral (1) , Small Heath (2) , Green-veined White (2) , Small White (2) , Dark-green Fritillary (1) , White Admiral (1) , and Essex Skipper (1) . A total of 17 species recorded on the two hour transect . Whilst photographing the SWFs , I had three Buzzards overhead , it looked like a single adult with two juveniles , and later , near the Orchid Bank spotted a Hornet .The two Bee Orchids found a while back , are now in full flower , just hope they don't get damaged and will re-appear next year .
On my way home , I stopped off at the old farmhouse to see how the House Martins were getting on . Lots of activity and calling over head , and more birds seen on the wing than last visit , so I am assuming that the second brood could well have fledged , with this weather , they could well go for a third . I couldn't be sure if the heads poking out of these nests were juveniles or adults . I did see my first 6 spot Burnet moth today , looking absolutely pristine , but wilst waiting for it to come to rest , I was distracted by the Dark-green Fritillary flying by . I lost the DGF some way down the meadow , and the Burnet moth was not re-found . Apart from a few Plume moths , the only other moth found was this Silver Y , no doubt enjoying this Mediterranean climate . Whilst waiting in a small glade for the White Admiral to re-appear , which it didn't , the opportunity arose for an in flight shot of Volucella pellucens , mind you , this specimen seemed to be practising it's hip-hop moves . Heading home , the thermometer read 26C , I was well pleased to get inside with a cold drink .