Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thursday 18th. July 2013

Well , I had to find one sooner or later , and another early search up on the Commons this morning , produced a single pristine male Purple Hairstreak , hopefully the first of many . I had spent well over
half an hour touring the Bramble and Bracken under Oak trees when I came across him , feeding on honeydew . Identified as a male by the short tails on the back edge of the hindwings , the female's are
more prominent . He only stayed for a couple of minutes , but during that time he did open his wings , but unless you are in the exact right position , the purple sheen does not show . Before flying
off , he got tantalisingly close to that position , but he was gone before making it , next time hopefully . Also found in the Brambles was this spider , which I think is an Orb sp. , suffering from a
bit of sunburn from the look of it , and a female Long-winged Conehead  ,
with those incredibly long antennae and identified as such by the long , as long as the body , straight ovipositor , partially obscured by her hind legs . Had she been a Short-winged Conehead , her ovipositor would be short and upward curved . On the way back to the car , in the shade of a fence ,
Purple Toadflax / Linaria purpurea , a member of the Figwort family , to start and finish the visit on a purple note . It was 0930 and the temperature was already mid 20sC , but I decided to make another visit to High Elms LNR to check on the Silver-washed Fritillaries . Very little was seen on the way from the car park to Burnt Gorse and the other glades , but then whilst cooling off in the shade by one of the glades , I noticed a large butterfly hovering around a tree in the middle . I had found my first

female SWF of the year , a less vibrant colour and lacking the four bars on the wings of the male , a shot of one of three sightings made for comparison . The female didn't stop , just allowing two shots before she headed up over the trees towards the bottom of Burnt Gorse . When I got there , via the path , I thought I had found her from distance , nectaring on Hogweed flower , but as I got closer , it
turned out to be a male Dark Green Fritillary , the first I remember recording on this side of the site , I sometimes get the odd one or two in the Conservation Field . Plenty of Small Skippers all over Burnt Gorse , and I thought I was going to get a mating pair , but the female thwarted the male's advances , and then went off and laid her eggs on the grass Yorkshire-fog . She was very careful
about which stem to use , but once decided , a batch of eggs were deposited under the outside sheath of the grass . Of interest , if all goes well , these eggs will hatch out in August , whereas those of the Essex Skipper will not hatch out until next Spring . Other interest found included ;
this pair of Harlequin or Spotted Longhorn , or Black and Yellow Harlequin Beetle , seemed to be enjoying themselves , so much so that they fell off the Scabious and finished on the deck ,
and whilst trying to get a shot of the male SWF in another glade , caught another hoverfly in flight , this time the alternate form of Volucella bombylans ,
and finally , one of the Ichneumon sp. , possibly Amblyteles armatorius , or not , as the case may be .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Got a PH then Greenie :-) and better photo's than I got the other day!

Tried again for some more shots this morning but no luck :-(