Saturday, 13 August 2011

Saturday 13th. August 2011

After taking Carol shopping , the drizzle stopped and the skies lightened , so I had an hour up on the Common before lunch . I headed straight for the heathland area , and was welcomed by the Heather/Calluna vulgaris and the Bell Heather/Erica cinerea both in flower , and the aroma that they provided was heady . That aroma had attracted a host of insects , the most numerous of which were Honey Bees , like the one pictured , filling their pollen sacks before heading back to their hives . Many of the Buckthorn bushes looked like they had been damaged with their branches lying horizontal on the ground , but it was the weight of the berries that had brought them into such positions . Around the edges of the heathland I found several specimens of Golden Rod/Solidago virgaurea , looking very different from the Canadian version that the White-letter Hairstreaks were nectaring on at High Elms . Also found , amongst the Heather , a few patches of Dwarf Gorse/Ulex minor , easy to pick out at the present time , as it's larger relation U.europaeus is not in flower , and is obviously much larger . A few butterflies were recorded , but nothing special .
After lunch , with the weather still holding , I set off for Burnt Gorse at High Elms . As is often the way , cloud closed in , but it was still very humid . As I entered Burnt Gorse the lime loving Carline Thistle/Carlina vulgaris , a member of the Daisy family was found , at present with green leaves , and a flower that looks as if it had already gone over , but was in full flower . Soon the leaves will match the flower . Just four Silver-washed Fritillaries were recorded , three males in reasonable condition , and this female that couldn't be so described . Three very fresh Brimstones , all males , were found arguing over nectaring rights , when there were enough flowers to satisfy 300 . The Hemp Agrimony around the site did not produce any White-letter Hairstreak sightings , nor did the Canadian Golden Rod , but the former did attract 2 Comma and 2 Peacock butterflies . The last three species will not mate this year , as they will over-winter as adults , and will mate when they emerge to the warmth of the sun next Spring , hopefully .


Rob said...

Heather and Dwarf Gorse make an attractive combination.
I'd expected an insect bonanza when the Hemp Agrimony flowered but the weather's been a let down so far.

Phil said...

I hope there are more Peacocks to overwinter than i've seen this year Greenie. I doubt if i've seen more than half a dozen or so I think and only two at New Hythe so far, very disappointing.