Saturday, 4 May 2013

Saturday 4th. May 2013

A very quick catch up on yesterday afternoon , when I went back to Burnt Gorse , High Elms LNR , to try again for an early Skipper or Hairstreak .
A female Kestrel , sitting above the car park as I arrived .
A walk along the lane produced the dainty Goldilocks Buttercup - Ranunculus auricomus ,
together with another member of the Buttercup family , Green Hellebore - Helleborus foetidus .
The track from Cuckoo Lodge to Burnt Gorse provided promise of White-letter Hairstreaks later in the season , with Wych Elm -Ulmus glabra , the butterfly's foodplant , beginning to flower .
Burnt Gorse failed again for the target species , in fact just one Orange Tip and one Brimstone were seen . So I decided to sit down next to a large patch of Garlic Mustard - Alliaria petiolata , in a coppiced area below Burnt Gorse , to try and photograph a female Orange Tip .
A small number of males continually visited the flowers , searching for a mate , and when failing , refuelled before moving off again .
Eventually a single female flew in to feed , and from nowhere , two males appeared , obviously more interested in mating than feeding . But they did not get their way , the upward pointing abdomen of the female once again thwarting their advances , and eventually flying off again . Whilst waiting , I also searched the plants for the green , becoming orange eggs of the Orange Tip , but didn't find any . No other females came to the site whilst I was there .
On the way back to the car , I found just two specimens of a plant I have been searching for over many weeks . Just about 4 cms. tall , so very easily overlooked , Moschatel - Adoxa moschatellina , with the wonderful common name of Town Hall Clock .
It gets that name from the four green flowers at right angles to each other , like on a Town Hall clock , with a fifth on the top . The tiny flowers are only about 0.5 cms. across .
Another catch up tomorrow from today , but I think it will be worth waiting for .


Ken. said...

Nice read, nice walk, nice photographs. Look forward to reading part two.

ShySongbird said...

Lovely Orange Tip photos Greenie. I remember seeing Town Hall Clock on your blog last year and was captivated by the name. I feel I may well have overlooked it myself!

Spock said...

Lovely shot of the 3 Orange Tips, in flight.