Thursday, 11 July 2013

Thursday 11th. July 2013

Well at least the cloud cover this morning gave me a chance to start processing the mountain of photos taken recently . But then , the sun came out , the computer was switched off , and I was on my way up onto West Wickham Common to see what was about . Like everywhere else , butterflies were in short supply , but waiting by a large area of Bramble to see what turned up , proved successful . Plenty of Bumblebees came to nectar on the recently opened flowers , and I was only thinking that
the Longhorn Beetles / Strangalia maculata  should be showing up soon , when the first specimens flew in , in their strange upright flight position . I tried for ages to get a good flight shot , but failed miserably . Butterflies visiting the flowers included Meadow Browns , Ringlet , at least 6 Large and 2 Small Skippers and a Speckled Wood . One of the Large Skippers , a female , was sunning itself close to one of the beetles , when a male LS landed just behind her on the same leaf . She took off at speed , was lost from view for a while , then returned to the same leaf , closely followed by the male . This happened for a second time with the same ending . The third time , the male made a move towards her and the pair sped off again . This time I watched them fly high over the surrounding Oak trees and out of view . I thought that was it , but then the pair reappeared , and now they were
coupled . I didn't actually see them fly in , but am pretty sure they flew in as such . They remained
that way , moving only slightly , and were still there when I left , oblivious to myself or anything else . On the way back to the car , a fresh Comma flew past and settled , the first I've seen for some
time and it turned out not to be a 'normal' Comma , but the form 'hutchinsoni' , having golden brown undersides . Close by , a hoverfly caught my attention , but I needed to do some digging when I got
home for it's identity , which I believe is Eupeodes luniger .
After lunch , with still wall to wall sunshine , I made another visit to Cuckoo Wood and Burnt Gorse at High Elms . Soon after arriving , I ran into one of the Keiths , who like me was looking for the missing species . We were standing chatting , when the floppy flight of a butterfly caught my eye , right at the back of the clearing . Making our way towards it , we could see it was a White Admiral , but it flew off before a decent shot could be taken . It returned a couple of minutes later , and were
able to get better shots , before it flew off again , not to return this time . We saw a second specimen some time later , but failed to find either Silver-washed Fritillary or White-letter Hairstreak . Just a couple of interesting insects found on the way round ,
another of the Robber Flies / Asilidae sp,
and a member of the Cranefly family , Ctenophora pectinicornis , a species I found and photographed on site last year .


ShySongbird said...

Well done with the White Admiral Greenie and the lovely photo of it. Great captures of the mating Large Skippers too.

Lovely to see the Stonechats and Redsarts on the previous post and also the Golden-ringed Dragonfly which I have never seen here.

Phil said...

Found my first Longhorns and White Admirals recently Greenie. You got some good pics of both. The underwing of the WA looks great.

Warren Baker said...

Skippers are doing well this year Greenie, well here anyway!

Hot one tomorrow! best get out early :-)