Sunday, 4 August 2013

Sunday 4th. August 2013

Had been out visiting and not long in , when the phone went . It was Martin who does the butterfly transect at Hutchinson's Bank , just over the border in Surrey . ' I've just had 4 Clouded Yellows on HB , are you interested ? ' , was the message . He didn't have his camera with him when he saw them , and had returned home to let people know and collect his camera . Needless to say my answer was ' Yes , I'll pick you up in 15 minutes on my way there ' . Even with picking Martin up , we arrived within 20 minutes of his call , and hastily made our way to where he had the sightings , hoping and praying that at least one was still there . Our prayers were answered with two specimens found almost immediately , and later at least five specimens were confirmed for sure , with a strong possibility of 10 specimens being seen in total .

Whilst the sun was out , they were very active , stopping to nectar for a matter of seconds before moving on , but when a blanket of white cloud moved in , they disappeared . A search found some just resting on low vegetation , but others were found lying almost prone on bare soil , no doubt to get the maximum warmth from the hidden sun .
As can be seen , I didn't manage to get an open wing shot , but given the strong wind on this open site , any shots were gratefully received . Before we left the site , we walked over an area where migrant Clouded Yellows had been seen in the past , but failed to find any . The conclusion we came to was that the specimens we were watching were the offspring of the female that Martin found and photographed , the open wing shots that I posted with his permission , some six weeks or so ago . All the specimens seen were males , but we intend to go back later in the week , in the hope that some females might have emerged by then . Hopefully on the same day I can return the favour , taking Martin to HE to see the WLHs .


Marc Heath said...

Great set of shots Greenie, I hope one passes by my camera soon.

Warren Baker said...

Do they ever open their wings Greenie!

Certainly a lovely Butterfly though :-)

Marianne said...

Lovely photos, they're real beauties. Plenty around this year too, it seems. As far as I know, they are not inclined to open their wings when perched, though you might get a lucky 'about to take off' shot - also I think the females would open their wings when doing the bum-aloft rejection display to a male.

Spock said...

There were two more clouded yellows along the same cutting today, they may have been 2 of the same ones as yesterday, but both of todays lacked the row of hindwing black spots, that were prominent is these pictures

Clouded Yellows never open up when settled other than the two above situations, although you can get a taking off shot if you are lucky.