Sunday, 12 May 2013

Sunday 12th. May 2013

Returned to Burnt Gorse at High Elms LNR , to see if I could relocate the Dingy Skipper that evaded the viewfinder on my last visit . It was still cool on my arrival , but the sheltered South facing slope was at least out of the wind , so conditions looked reasonable . Within a few minutes , a Green
Hairstreak fell out of an overhanging Beech and landed on one of the Wayfarer shrubs , and very
soon afterwards , was tucking into it's breakfast on the flowers . A little later , I did see a Dingy Skipper , but once again it evaded the camera . Right down the far end of the site , I found another or the previously found Grizzled Skipper and a Mint Moth , but nothing else . I returned to the area under the power lines , and started to search that area . Being brown/beige and given their liking of bare patches of ground , Dingy Skippers can be difficult to find , and when few are around , very
difficult . After much searching , two specimens were found , and one of these was also breakfasting , this time on Bugle . After an hour and a half on the slope , just one Small White was added to the list . Moving on , I checked out all the usual sites for Speckled Wood , but it was in overtime that I
finally found my first any only specimen this year . The only other interest found was a male Adela
reaumurella day flying moth , and lots of flower buds on Salad Burnet - Sanguisorba minor , a
member of the Rose family , looking like they were going to burst any moment . I love to see them on a sunny morning , still with dew on the open flowers , I will try to post a shot when they open , if \I remember . With the sunshine still holding on , I had a look across the road on the fence off Conservation Field . The top end was even more sheltered than Burnt Gorse , but butterflies were still
at a premium , but the Cowslips were superb . A Large White and a male Orange Tip flew strongly past , but it looked as if that was it , until I put up another Grizzled Skipper , the first this side of the
road this year . As I took a few shots , a cloud drifted in front of the sun , and the butterfly folded it's
wings and went into 'cloud mode' , which gave me a chance to get some underwing shots . Only other
interest on this side of the road was the hoverfly Helophilus pendulus . Apart from getting snarled up in road works that went into place whilst I was on site , that was as exciting as it got today .
When I got home I looked up the records for this time last year , when on the same site I recorded 35 butterflies of 12 species , including Sm. Copper , Brown Argus , Common Blue and Sm. Heath , compared to the paltry 8 butterflies of 6 species seen today . It looks like my fears for this year were well founded .


Warren Baker said...

Birds and flutters have taken a real bashing, what with a poor year last year, and a cold and wet one so far this, :-( have to hope for a turn around in fortunes soon!

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos of the Green Hairstreak Greenie, they really are a pretty and unusual colour. Well done on the Dingy Skipper too.

I've no idea what happened to the comment I left on your orchid post :-( I did enjoy it though, they were such a welcome sight.

Marc Heath said...

Lovely Hairstreak shots, still trying to find my own and struggling. The wind and weather not helping much!!

Marc Heath said...

Are you doing and Glanville walks this year at all? if so could you let me know: