Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Wednesday 18th. July 2012

Following on from yesterday's post , the 3rd. and 4th. site visited , both up on the Downs proved to be quite productive . Starting with the reptiles , the combined numbers for both sites were , 52 Slow
Worms , just four here , but 7/8 were found huddled together , 6 Adders , that number consisting of
2 females ,
2 males ,
and 2 juveniles , both probably born about this time last year , and good to see they have made it through their first year . Not a sign of a Grass Snake . The ground vegetation is very lush with all the rain we have been getting , so many more specimens probably went unnoticed amongst it . The wild
flowers are also doing very well , with the likes of Vervain / Verbena officinalis , one of my
favourites coming into flower , as well as Sainfoin / Onobrychis viciifolia , a member of the Pea family , looking at it's best just now . The Small Scabious , posted previously , has now been followed by it's larger relation Field Scabious / Knautia arvensis , both members of the Teasel
family , the larger species lacking the 'halo' that is sported by the smaller one . With Summer still to
arrive , the 'A' word , in the form of Autumn Gentian / Gentianella amarella is already in bud and will
be in flower soon . In the insect world , I came across quite a few Violet Ground Beetles / Carabus violaceus , and I must admit , I was pleased to see on Rob's / The Living Isle , post last night , that he
had identified this fly that I had also photographed because it looked strange as Sicus ferrugineus , which certainly saved me a lot of time digging , cheers Rob . Butterfly numbers improved dramatically on the two sites , most probably because they were more sheltered than the first two .
Meadow Browns as expected topped the list with 93 , but after a poor start earlier , Chalkhill Blues
came second with 72 , though most were sheltering down in the grass like this one . All but one were males , the single , pristine female was being chased wherever she went , and consequently I didn't manage to get a shot of her . Ringlet 52 , Marbled White 23 was the best number I've seen so far this
season , including another individual suffering from mites . Large White 2 , Small White 2 ,Small
Heath 8 , Small Skipper 18 , Large Skipper 1 , Gatekeeper 1 , and a particularly rustic looking Comma made up the full list . Two Foxes were seen , but both moved off before the camera could be lifted , as did two freshly emerged Common Darter dragonflies .
The delivery I was waiting for arrived just before lunch , but by then the wind was really strong , the sky grey , with showers arriving on a regular basis , and that was how it stayed .


Warren Baker said...

Was a good day for flutters Greenie, even here!

I really would like to see a Marbled White on my patch :-)

Spock said...

Your Marbled White pictures has Red Mites on the thorax, our Hutinsons Bank population was de-mited, before its return in 1983, and I have never seen mites on site.

There are plenty of Marbled Whites flying on the site, those on Sundays walk should think of going to Hutchinsons after.

Rob said...

You've really caught the violet in the Violet Ground Beetle, Greenie - a stunning beast.
A fine representative from the Chalkhill Blues, also - good to know they are thriving.

ShySongbird said...

A nice selection there Greenie and some lovely photos again. You certainly saw a good number of reptiles!

RogerW said...

I'm just back from a trip to the Butterfly Conservation site at Shoreham. Conditions were overcast, but numerous Chalkhill Blues. Saw about 30-40 males, one mating pair, and a single female.
Geez, there are a lot of ash seedlings taking over. I know BC isn't a botany organisation, but if they don't act soon, they'll lose the cowslip area of the reserve.