Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Wednesday 12th. June 2013

Another grey , windy morning , with the promise of light , followed by heavy rain after lunch . No likelihood of butterflies or Odonata in those conditions , so I stayed reasonably local this morning .
I headed for the Greensand Ridge , to see what reptiles were about , which turned out to be , not a lot , just four male Adders and a handful of Slow Worms . The wind was making the Adders very skittish and it looked as if I was not going to get one in the viewfinder . Then I came across this
specimen , no , not a headless / tailless individual , but both ends were tucked deep in vegetation . Thankfully , one of the others posed just long enough to get this shot , before his entirety disappeared
into the vegetation . It certainly has been a strange year for amphibians and reptiles , and I think that will apply to most of the wildlife when we look back on the year . As I left , spits of drizzle were already in the air , but I stopped on the Common for a look around on my way home . Can't remember if I mentioned it before , but the LTTit nest is still intact and all quiet , so hopefully I can assume that they fledged their brood safely . Not a lot on the wing apart from several male Common
Heath day flying moths , making short searches in the wind for females . Below them on the ground , good patches of the lichen Cladonia cristatella / British Soldiers (referring to Redcoats) and Devil's
Matchsticks are two of the common names . Having pushed up some time ago , the semi-parasitic Common Cow-wheat / Melampyrum pratense , a member of the Lousewort family , has
finally come into flower , now all we need are the Heath Fritillary butterflies , I wish . It is after all the food plant for the species . Other species seen , but also yet to come into flower , Wood Sage /
Teucrium montanum , a member of the large Labiate family , and in amongst the Brambles around an
old fire site , Common Toadflax / Linaria vulgaris , a member of the Figwort family . A bit non descript at the moment , but yellow and orange flowers will soon brighten things up . Close by , I found the relative of the Red-headed Cardinal Beetle that I posted a while ago , the Black-headed

version / Pyrochroa coccinea . With one eye on an ever darkening sky , I spent some time looking for
Brimstone caterpillars , and in a reasonably short time found about 15 , varying in size , which
hopefully will emerge through the remainder of this Summer , if it ever gets going . I look every year in the hope of finding a chrysalis , never being successful , but four of today's caterpillars were on a multi-stemmed Buckthorn , well off the beaten track , so I have tied markers around the braches that they are feeding on , in the hope that one will pupate , hanging under one of the leaves on one of those branches . Whether I will be lucky , we'll have to wait and see .
A left over from my orchid trip last week , I think it is a Latticed Heath , maybe .
And finally , like ShySongbird , I just can't make up my mind on the Rabbit / Leverett . I've looked at so many photos , the more I look at the more uncertain I become . Many thanks though to ShySongbird , Alan and Warren for their thoughts .


Phil said...

Glad you got your Adder pic Greenie.might try again myself soon if the weather improves.
Can't make up my mind about your young Rabbit/Hare in your last post. I think it might be a 'Rare'. Which of course is a cross between a Rabbit and a Hare!!

ShySongbird said...

Hi Greenie, Well done with the Adder, I think we'll have to rename you snake man. Actually I'm always expecting you to pop up on Springwatch with your knowledge of snakes, Dormice etc.

Well done also with finding the Brimstone caterpillars, great photo too. It will be interesting to see if you do manage a chrysalis, good idea to leave markers.

Phil's comment made me laugh, of course it could equally be a Habbit!

Greenie said...

ShySongbird ,
We are obviously on the same wavelength , I suggested the same to Phil commenting on his blog .
My 'Habbit' only had one 'b' though .
As for Springwatch , I've probably got a better chance on Crimewatch for trespassing .