Saturday, 3 August 2013

Saturday 3rd. August 2013

Taking a chance , I arrived in the bottom glade at High Elms with dark clouds still rolling through , but the chance paid off , as the skies broke and lengthy sunny spells broke up those clouds . Once again , the Canadian Golden Rod was the main search area , and within a few minutes , four White-letter Hairstreaks were found nectaring . With many dog walkers still around , an unexpected person amongst the vegetation caused concern amongst the dogs , which didn't help keeping the WLHs on their nectar plant , often flying off into the trees at the barking of the dogs . Eventually things started to quiet down , and the butterflies began to become more confident . By the time one of the Keiths rang , he had seen my car in the car park , numbers were increasing , but he was beaten to the site by
the other Keith who had come in from the opposite direction . The females still looked in perfect
condition  , but the males have obviously had a bit of pushing and shoving , reflected in then looking less tidy due to losing scales from their wings . As mentioned before the tails of the female are
noticeably longer than those of the male as can be seen from this shot and also the size difference , with the female on the left . The CGR also attracted other insects drawn to it's scent , like this
Longhorn Beetle / Strangalia maculate . Silver-washed Fritillaries were not as numerous in the glade as on my last visit , but those that were there seemed much more laid back and totally unconcerned
about a lens in close proximity . I don't know if it was the intoxication of the nectar or the flavour of his chewing gum , but one of the Keiths managed to get both SWF and Comma to settle on his finger . As the temperature rose , more species came on the wing , including a couple of very freshly
emerged Peacocks , one pictured . Although there was plenty of nectar to go round , it appeared that
some Hemp Agrimony flowers tasted better than others , when the heads were shared , like this SWF
and Comma , and a bit later , a SWF and a female Meadow Brown . By the time I left the glade , WLH numbers had reached 7 , and with the one Keith had found on the Orchid Bank on the way from the car park . things were looking good . On my way back to the car , I re-found the one on the Orchid Bank , and checking the two small glades on the way , finding one female SWF egg laying in
one and two in the other , things are looking good for that species too , with their numbers remaining about 15/20 . A phone call from Keith later in the afternoon letting me know that the WLH numbers had increased to 12/14 before they left the bottom glade was music to my ears . He also found a male Brown Argus on Burnt Gorse , lets hope that will be the first of many as that species had a very poor first brood on site .


Warren Baker said...

Ive planted that Agrimony in my garden Greenie, not had a flutter on it yet though, maybe due to all the birds in the proximity!!

Alan Pavey said...

Some lovely shots of the WLH's again Greenie and nice to see the flutters sharing :-)