Monday, 6 May 2013

Monday 6th. May 2013

Don't usually venture out on Bank Holidays , but early sunshine got the better of me and I headed for High Elms LNR , in another quest for an early Skipper . Just joggers and dog walkers on the way , but arriving at Burnt Gorse , I had the site to myself . There followed a lot of effort up and down the slope , with very little in return . Each time I reached the bottom , I had a look at the stand of Garlic Mustard , but just one male Orange Tip was seen . On one search up the slope , my hopes were raised
briefly , but it turned out to be a moth , Garden Carpet I think , but don't take my word for it . About an hour in , and just about as far as it is possible to go on the site , a speedy movement that was very
difficult to follow , turned out to be what I was looking for , a Grizzled Skipper . A tiny butterfly , smaller than a Small Skipper and much harder to find , and even much harder to follow once found . I carried on searching for it's relative the Dingy Skipper , but that one eluded me today . The other species on my possible list was the Green Hairstreak , and on one of the later climbs to the top of the
slope , I finally found one , quickly followed by a second , not on their favoured Wayfarer bushes ,
but on the ground vegetation . Like other butterfly species , the males emerge first , and this was proved when the two met , and immediately started scrapping . In total , 9 species were recorded ,
including another Holly Blue , but still am looking for my first Speckled Wood , which would have got me into double figures . A couple of other insects found whilst searching were the ridiculously
long legged Beefly - Bombylius major , feeding whilst still beating it's wings like mad , and the
colourful Sloe Shieldbug - Dolycoris baccarum . A few plants found pushing through and starting to flower included :
Common Twayblade - Listera ovate , a not very colourful member of the Orchid family ,
Bugle - Ajuga reptans , a member of the square stemmed Labiate family ,
Yellow Archangle - Lamiastrum galeobdolon of the same family ,

and Wood Sorrel - Oxalis acetosella , with it's delicate streaked flower petals , and Clover like leaves .
Still no sign of House Martins at their usual site , but I did see one Grey Wagtail in the yard , so hopefully they will nest there again this year .


Warren Baker said...

Superb images today Greenie. I always hope for a Green Hairstreak, only ever had one, as for a dingy skipper, never even seen that species!

Alan Pavey said...

Great selection of pics Greenie, great to see some butterflies out and about :-)

ShySongbird said...

Another interesting read Greenie and great photos. Very well done on tracking down the Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak. My husband has seen a few Speckled Woods recently while walking the dog but I'm still confined to barracks and going stir crazy :-(

Spock said...

The moth is a Green Carpet, common on Chalk Grassland