Sunday, 5 July 2015

Sunday 5th. July 2015

I must admit , the very muggy weather has somewhat reduced the amount of wildlife about , and with making several visits to High Elms to hopefully get another sighting of the Large / Scarce Tortoiseshell , which didn't happen , and to check up on the emergence of Silver-washed Fritillary and White-letter Hairstreak butterflies , there's not a lot to talk about . So it's down to pictures and comments again .
Crab Spiders / Misumena vatia , seem to be everywhere at the moment , this one dining on a mining bee .
A first for me was finding a pair , the male much smaller than the female .
But , as the saying goes , size isn't everything , and he knew what to do .
As a bonus , when he fulfilled his duty , he wasn't eaten by the female and was able to depart .
Only my second time of finding the Hazel-leaf Roller Weevil / Apoderus coryli , a strange looker .
More common , the Hairy or Sloe Shieldbug / Dolycoris baccarum .
The strangest sighting was this male Large Skipper , with what I have been told is the pollinium of an orchid stuck to or trapped on his proboscis . Before flying off it spent some time trying to remove it with his front legs .
A return visit to Lullingstone Country Park for Dark Green Fritillary with Martin was somewhat disappointing , with just 35/50 mainly male specimens found . This pair were the only mating pair seen .
Marbled White numbers were higher , with good numbers of the light brown under-winged females being found .
Even that visit ended at High Elms on the way home . Martin had a long distance 'possible' for the Tortoiseshell , but too far to be confirmed . But I did get my first SWF shot of the year .
The highlight of the HE butterfly transect was this DGF found on Burnt Gorse . 9  species were recorded , but apart from Meadow Brown (217) and Ringlet (153) , other numbers were still low .
I've been expecting to find the Yellow and Black Longhorned Beetle / Rutpela maculata , since the Brambles came into flower , but finally caught up with one .
The less said about the Down House bird survey the better , as only 16 species , withouit a single Summer visitor was all that was recorded . 3 DGF found in the large meadow was some consolation .
Three Peacock larvae were found in an obvious bare nettle patch ,
and nearby , a ladybird larva was making it's final skin change into a Harlequin .
A look in at Keston Ponds for Sm.Red-eyed Damselfly proved fruitless , but lots of Black-tailed Skimmers , male pictured , several Emperor Dragonfly and singles of Downy Emerald , Brown Hawker and Four-spotted Chaser were in aerial combat , whilst a female Emperor was calmly
ovipositing on introduced Water Hawthorn .
The last couple of visits to HE has produced 'Hairstreak sized' sightings in the top of an Ash that stands above a Wych Elm  in the bottom glade . I have yet to get any positive WLH sightings , and will be glad when the Canadian Golden Rod , their favoured nectaring flower comes into bloom .
Friday at HE produced a welcomed sight , in the form of two Violet Helleborine  flower spikes , the first time in a few years that they have shown to my knowledge . Added to the 13 spikes along the Sandwalk at Down House , things are looking good for the species .


Warren Baker said...

Its been a hard year in terms of Wildlifing thus far greenie, Butterflies especially seem thin on the ground. At least your travels give you a bit of variance :-)

Phil said...

That Crab Spider was a lucky devil Greenie, he had his cake and ate it so too speak. Unlike the female who had her cake and didn't eat it, if you get my drift!! Nice post.