Monday, 25 July 2011

Monday 25th. July 2011

My plan was to re-felt the roof the shed today , but as the morning was so good , I postponed that job till this afternoon , and went to see how the Chalkhill Blues were doing at the Butterfly Conservation site up on the Downs . On arrival , the sun was just starting to cast it's warmth on the bottom of the slope , but everything was very still . As the sun crept up the slope , the first fewspecimens were seen moving . Eventually , I managed to get close enough to get a shot of a male in that soft light . Easily recognised from above , but a bit more challenging looking from below . As things warmed up , more males took to the air , frantically searching the short ground cover for an emerging female . Having found 8/10 males ten days ago on my last visit , I must admit that I was expecting more than the 25 + specimens that I saw today . I did see two females . one disappearing down the slope , with a string of males behind her , and this one that was much more intent on nectaring than anything the males had in mind for her . Just 7 other species were recorded , the best of which were two fresh Small Coppers . The most used nectar source on the site was Wood Sage/Teucrium scorodonia , another of the Labiate family , and as this Buff-tailed Bumblebee would probably tell , very tasty . A few reptiles were also recorded , one being this very gravid looking female Slow Worm , and a female Adder that was willing to sit for a couple of seconds , before making her exit . Elsewhere , the Chalkhill Blues were still very few , with Brown Argus , like this female , recording twice as many sightings . I did find a second brood Dingy Skipper for the second day running , but nothing more exciting than a female Common Blue , also a second brood specimen , made the notebook . With that job still hanging over me , I headed back to the car , to find a female Large White nectaring on a Buddleia on the side of the lane , and right next to the car , another female Red Admiral taking a rest between ovipositing on adjacent Nettles .
And yes , the shed did get done this afternoon .


Warren Baker said...

That's what I call ' shedding'' some light on todays activities Greenie :-)

Better photo's than mine today mate :-)

Phil said...

Nice pics today Greenie. I especially like the Chalkhill Blue, that's a great looking butterfly.
I was tempted to go down the pun road re the shed, but i'll leave that to Warren!

Rob said...

I agree with Phil - those Chalkhills have such poise.
Good job with the shed Greenie.

Alan Pavey said...

Good to see the priorities were right and the shed took the back seat! Some really nice Chalkhill Blue pics, I've not seen one for years.