Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Tuesday 26th. June 2012

With a 'cloudy all day' forecast last night , and repeated this morning , I had arranged with Martin , the butterfly recorder for Hutchinson's Bank , to have a look at an orchid site that he had mentioned during last Saturday's walk . Needless to say the forecast proved wrong , they can't get anything right , with almost clear blue skies all morning . With that weather , and having some time in hand before meeting up with Martin , I just couldn't help myself , popping in to the Glanville Fritillary site , knowing that it will not be around for much longer . I searched the area where I had previously seen a single specimen on previous visits , but even with perfect butterfly weather , there was no
sign . Other species , Large Skipper , Meadow Brown , Small Heath , Marbled White -pictured , and Common Blue all showed up , but not the one I wanted . Time was running out , and I was searching with one eye , with the other watching the time . In the nick of time , once again a single specimen

flew in and landed on the path . A different specimen from those seen before looking back at previous shots , but the loss of hairs on the abdomen and worn white fringe on the wings , show he has been around for a good while now , could well be the last time I photograph the species this year , but I will look forward to hopefully find them next season . With that , he shot off and so did I to meet up with Martin around an electrical sub-station , not what I expected for an orchid site . But , as the old saying goes 'looks aren't everything' , the site came up trumps , with literally hundreds of Common-
spotted Orchids , this being just one small area few Pyramidal and a good number of Broad-leaved Helleborines , and a few 'wait till they flower' plants too . Also found on site was a single specimen of
Common Broomrape / Orobanche minor , and lots of specimens of a red stemmed , 2 mtr. high plant
with leaves clasping the stem , that I couldn't put a name to on site , but think it is Perennial Sow-Thistle / Sonchus palustris , a member of the Daisy family , but as always , stand to be corrected . As we left the site , we chatted to a chap who works there , who told us that it was originally a chalk quarry , before being levelled and the sub-station built . The banks where the orchids are growing was the surplus material from the levelling . Martin was going to do his transect at Hutchinson's Bank , so I gave him a lift , but couldn't leave without a look around . Plenty of Small Blues and Large Skippers
around , and also a first sighting of Small Skipper for the year , about time . Martin had mentioned 'another field , full of Small Blues' , on the golf course , beyond the Scout Camp . It sounded too good to miss , especially when Martin offered to show me where it was . From a distance , most of the
slope in front of us was yellow , and we agreed that 80% of that yellow was Kidney Vetch , absolutely unbelievable , and this shot is only a small part of the slope . We had a good look around and although windy , we found good numbers of Small Blues , then , as we made our way back down
the slope , I spotted what I have been hoping to find for ages , a mating pair . That really made my day , after photographing a mating pair of Large Blues last Tuesday , to get this pair today was brilliant , and thanks to Martin for showing me the site . I left Martin to do his transect , and headed home to take Carol shopping , arranged following that weather forecast , still in warm , sunny conditions . I know where I would rather have been , but by the time we finished shopping , the cloud had arrived , albeit late , and I suppose we do have to eat .


Warren Baker said...

Yea, that cloud arrived just in time to spoil my afternoon!

That shot of the Kidney Vetch is unbelievable Greenie, a sight to cheer evn the greyest day :-)

Nice to have both Large and small blue mating photo's :-)

Ken. said...

Well done with another sighting of the Flittary. As you say it might be the last you see of them this year.
Nice shot of one of my favourite butterflies, the Marbled White.

Marc Heath said...

That's just teasing now Greenie with the Frits. Nice collection of shots there.

ShySongbird said...

Another very productive day Greenie! Well done with finding another Glanville and the pair of Small Blue. The orchids must have been a picture in those numbers as must that glowing, gold slope, just lovely!