Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Tuesday 19th. July 2011

Firstly , many thanks to Dean/DDD , for identifying the moth on the last post as Shaded Broad-bar .
What with the recent weather and helping getting ready and clearing up after the Kent Show at Detling , I haven't got out for a while now . I thought I wouldn't today , but finishing early unexpectedly , I managed an hour or so look around Spring Park Pond . It was quite sunny on arrival , but cloud started to roll in , giving just brief sunny spells . Walking towards the pond , I could see that there was a lot of butterfly activity in an area of Creeping Thistle , so rather than go looking , I waited for the species to come to me , as I got into the middle of the Thistle patch . Looking around , it was evident that the patch was so busy because of very little flower on the Brambles now and very few other sources of nectar . To show how busy the patch was , I recorded 10 species of butterfly in the first ten minutes .
At least 7 Red Admirals were recorded , several of them large specimens which looked like females , and this one definitely was , as I watched her fly to and from a patch of Common Nettle and resting in between visits . I watched which leaf she visited , then went over and checked it . There on the top of the leaf was a fresh egg , just a single as is normal with this species . An unexpected visitor , as I have only recorded the species once here before , were two male Silver-washed Fritillaries . Other species recorded were , 9 Peacock , 3 Comma , 3 Small Tortoiseshell , 3 Small Skipper , 13 Large White - pictured , 2 Large Skipper , 2 Speckled Wood , 27 Meadow Brown , 8 Small White , 2 Purple Hairstreak - including an ovipositing female , 1 Green-veined White and 2 Small Copper - pictured .
Other species photographed were ,
Brown Argus , sex unknown , as it refused to open it's wings ,whilst this female of the same species did so , a single Essex Skipper , with black undersides to it's antennae ,
several female Gatekeepers , larger than the males ,including this already worn one , with white aberrations on the hindwings ,
and one of three Holly Blues recorded .
In total , 18 species recorded as the sun gave way to clouds .
Also feeding on the Creeping Thistle were several species of hoverflies , including this Volucella zonaria . This one was bigger than the many bumblebees that were also nectaring .
I did eventually get to the pond to look for Odonata , but as with many of the previous visits , very little was found . A few Azure and Common Damselflies , both species ovipositing , and just two Common Darters was as good as it got .
Of interest , there are still lots of tadpoles in the pond , still to show any leg growth . I would have expected them to be out of the water as froglets/toadlets well before now .
Tomorrow , Dormouse and Reptile survey day up on the Greensand Ridge .


Alan Pavey said...

What a great 10 minutes that was! Some great photos too Greenie.

Ken. said...

Nice day for Butterflies Greenie.
Also well done with finding the Silver-Washed Fritillaries.

Rob said...

The Creeping Thistle certainly pulls the butterflies Greenie. Must go and look for some - I'd love to see a SWF.