Thursday, 25 July 2013

Thursday 25th. July 2013

Got out after lunch , and headed straight to High Elms , to search for White-letter Hairstreaks again . On the way through Cuckoo Wood , I stopped at the glade where I had SWFs mating recently , and
was glad to find two females nectaring on the Bramble flowers , and not at all interested in the advances of 3/4 males . The aerial battles between the males has already caused some damage to
some specimens . Also in the glade were two White Admirals , they seem to be having a good year all over . I was even happier in the next glade , when I found at least 4 female SWFs egg laying .
Three were laying as per the book , in crevices on the bark of an Ivy glad Scot's Pine , but one was thinking ahead , as when the caterpillar emerges it has to climb or drop down to the ground , where
it's food plant , Violets are found . This female was making that easy , buy laying on a fallen tree . After laying 5/6 eggs , the females would flutter back down to the ground or low vegetation , and rest before repeating the exercise . In all I recorded 10/12 SWF , which after the late start is a good result for the species . I checked the Hemp Agrimony at the end of the Orchid Bank and found it still in bud , but some on the Bank was in flower , but the Canadian Golden Rod is still to flower , and no WLHs were found . Heading down to the bottom glade , I found both of their nectaring plants in flower , but even after one and a quarter hours of searching , didn't have a single WLH sighting . Comma , SWF , WA and Peacock were all recorded in the glade along with the more common species , and in sunny periods , hawking for insects , was a Hawker dragonfly . When it
clouded over , I watched it return to the edge of the glade , and finally settle in a small Sycamore , unfortunately about 4 mtrs up .  When I got close , I could see that it was an immature male , when
mature , the three marking at the end of the abdomen will be blue , and make him much easier to identify , even in flight . I headed back to the Orchid Bank for one last look before heading home , and found Terry Laws , true to his word on Sunday , that he would come back in better weather to try for pictures of the SWFs , and I'm pleased to say he succeeded . Terry hadn't found any WLHs either , so he headed for Burnt Gorse and I headed for the car park . A couple of bits of interest found on the way round today ,
what I believe is a female Common Cockchaffer , spotted hiding under a leaf ,
and yet another black / yellow insect , possibly a wasp of some sort , on a Hogweed flower , which I am still working on . Any suggestions gratefully received .


Ken. said...

Nice butterfly photo's never seen any of them.
What a coincidence you getting a picture of a Common Cockcafer aka May Bug today,and me calling you this evening asking you "What have I got swarming around my conifer at dusk for the last 2 nights?"
Thanks for informing me, I have since looked them up.

Warren Baker said...

Ive only once had a White admiral here Greenie, and twice a SWF, I'm hoping i'll get on or the other again this year ;-)