Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sunday 24th. July 2011

Well , despite Phil giving it 'the kiss of death' and Warren 'putting the mockers on it' , the visit from Butterfly Conservation , Kent Branch , took place this morning at High Elms . Mind you , an hour before the start , the sky was grey and a stiff NW wind was blowing , not ideal butterfly weather . By the time I arrived at the car park , the cloud had started to break up , and by start time , 25 members were ready for the two target species , Silver-washed Fritillary and White-letter Hairstreak . By the time we reached Burnt Gorse , there was more blue sky than grey cloud , and from there on , it was sunshine all the way . The first target species was found , with a few fly by specimens , and not long after , the first White-letter Hairstreak was found , but not everyone got a sighting of the individual . We picked up several more species , before moving on to the glade that I visited on Friday . Thankfully , the Canadian Golden Rod produced a single WLH , then two more were found on another stand of the plant . Everyone got a chance to get photos , and to make things even better , a mating pair of SWFs were found . They flew around for a while , then came to rest at about 3 mtrs up in a shrub . I managed to bend the branch down , giving head high photo opportunities . Eventually the pair flew off , alighting this time on the Canadian Golden Rod , which gave me a chance to get a shot . We visited several other glades , finishing up at the SWF's favourite ovipositing area , where the group witnessed the female ovipositing on the tree trunk , and finding several eggs after she had moved on .
After lunch , we had a walk around the Conservation fields on the other side of the road and managed to add a couple of species to the day's list . Also found was a very pristine female Rosell's Bush Cricket , identified as such by the pale margin to the side-flap of the pronotum and the large ovipositor , obscured by her leg .
We finished the visit back at the car park , and although Sm.Tortoiseshell , White Admiral and Marbled White were missing from the list , we still managed 22 species . Apart from those mentioned , a second brood Dingy Skipper on Burnt Gorse and several mating pairs of Gatekeeper were the highlights .


Warren Baker said...

I'm pleased it turned out well for you Greenie, :-) I even had a few flutters myself today !

Phil and Mandy said...

A good day all round by the reading of blogs, love your cricket shot.

Kingsdowner said...

I'm sure you guided the walk with your customary style, charming the butterflies from the treetops - wish I could have been there.

Phil said...

What, no Small Tort, White Admiral or Marbled White? What a let down....:-)
Well done Greenie, sounds like they had a great day.

Alan Pavey said...

22 species! Fantastic, what a great day, really pleasing that the weather was good for you.