Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wednesday 25th. July 2012

Firstly , nearly missed a correction to a spider ID on last Saturday's post . Many thanks to Greg for identifying the Conb-footed Spider , Theridiidae , and not the Crab Spider that I thought it was , Cheers Greg . A catch up on yesterday when I managed to get out for a short while up on the Common , before visitors arrived . Purple Hairstreaks are still in short supply , but I did find my first female of the species , identified by
the small area of purple on the top forewing , if the light is in the right direction of course . Also
around was a Gatekeeper with a very flashy underwing . Unfortunately , it never opened it's wings to
see the top colours . A very fresh Small Copper , no doubt encouraged to emerge into all this sunshine was also found . The Whites are starting to show up more recently , like this fresh Green-
veined White . Over on the other side , the first of the Broad-leaved Helliborines have come into
flower . Today , with the other surveyor abroad , I headed off for the down to do the Reptile survey .
Arriving at 9 o'clock , the temperature was already 20C , and hopes of finding anything I thought were close to nil , but there is always the butterflies too , so off I set . Both sites surprisingly did produce both Adders and Slow Worms . 19 Slow Worms were recorded , much fewer than last visit ,
but Adders , at 11 , were up on that visit . All but one of the Adders were female , like this one , and
several of the adult females were found with specimens , being two years plus in age . The
only male found was a bit fiesty , hissing his displeasure at my interest in him . The hoped for Clouded Yellow failed to materialise , so no new species were recorded on either site , but the Chalkhill Blues on both sites , and neither was the one managed specifically for the species , have exploded . Very hard to be positive with all the movement , at times the whole site seemed to be a sea of dancing blue , but I estimated 200+ and 350+ on the two sites , and that was conservative .
Interestingly , I saw 11 mating pairs on one site and none on the other , here the male is on the left . On both sites , males and females were constantly emerging and drying their wings in the sunshine .
As usual , with several of the Blues , the largest congregations are found , around animal droppings .
And finally the sun has brought out the Harebells / Campanulla rotundifolia , a member of the
Bellflower family .


Rod Compton said...

Your explosive community of chalk hill blues might explain my sighting last August of one male down here at the Rookery.

Warren Baker said...

Lets hope some of that blue shrapnel lands my way Greenie :-)

Marc Heath said...

Great set Greenie. Still yet to see a wild Adder!

Marianne said...

Lovely shots, everything seems to be responding well to the freak sunny conditions!

ShySongbird said...

Nice, varied post again Greenie. So good to hear the Chalkhills are doing well! Lovely to see the Hairbells.