Sunday, 26 May 2013

Sunday 26th. May 2013

Wall to wall sunshine had me out early , stopping first at Spring Park Pond , hoping to find some emerging damsel/dragonflies , but on arrival all was very still . Lots of tadpoles still , but not much else . After much scanning of the vegetation , all I could find were two distant newly emerged
specimens , the first a very pink Large Red Damselfly , which , when mature will be a female of the
form melanotom , the second a male Azure Damselfly . I was hoping to find a few Broad-bodied Chasers , either in the pond or sunning themselves on the nearby vegetation , but it wasn't to be .
There were several of these long legged spiders around , and just before leaving found this Snipe Fly
/Rhagio scolopacea , also warming up in the sun .
From there I moved on to Hutchinson's Bank , just over the border in Surrey , hoping to find the Small Blue butterfly for which the site is well known . They have emerged in Sussex recently and I arrived full of hope . After about an hour on site , it looked like it was going to be High Elms again , as only Dingy Skipper and Large White were recorded , and no sign of a Small Blue . But my luck eventually changed , no Small Blue , but 3 firsts for the year . The first was a pristine Small Copper

that did not move very far from it's favoured patch of bare ground , and it was closely followed by
two Small Heaths , another species that likes those conditions . I added Orange Tip , Small and Green-veined White , Brimstone and Peacock to the day's list , before running into Martin , who was doing the site transect . We went to where I had the Sm. Copper as it would be a year first for the
transect and as we approached the area , the third first for the year was found , Common Blue which was also a first for the year transect . The Sm. Copper was refound shortly afterwards , and Speckled Wood was added too , but there the species list finished , without the Sm. Blue . I left Martin to finish the transect and started back to the car . Other interest found , Goatsbeard /Tragopogon pratensis , a
member of the Daisy family , fortunately found before midday , as it's common name is 'Jack goes to Bed at Noon' , as it's flowers are only open during sunny mornings . And finally a caterpillar , I
believe of a moth , 3/4 cms ,with distinctive dark spots on the back end . Any thoughts ? Think we are settled on Double Square-spot , thanks for your help Spock .


Spock said...

I think the caterpillar is Double Square-Spot Moth, if not its the closely related Triple Spotted Clay.

I had 17 Dingy Skippers on todays transect.

Marc Heath said...

Nice to see the butterflies performing well. Thanks for the information. I had a great time with a few photos of the day.

ShySongbird said...

Good to see damsels starting to appear on blogs and a lovely collection of year firsts butterflies. Also lovely to see the butterflies and orchids on the previous post. Good to see the lizard on the last post too. I actually saw one myself yesterday!! I was so thrilled as I never see them in fact I've seen more snakes in my life than lizards. What really lovely creatures they are, I could have just gazed at it for hours.

I'm sure I've said it before Greenie but I do enjoy and appreciate all the interesting information you include in your posts, your genuine interest and passion for the natural world shines through each one.

Warren Baker said...

Been looking for flutters here over this sunny weekend Greenie, not much luck though. I did find a nice Small Copper on Sunday, off patch though :-(
Possible Immature W.L.Damsel today, take a look on mine.