Thursday, 14 June 2012

Glanville Fritillaries and Marsh Frogs

Glanville Fritillary, Melitaea cinxia
Yesterday I started off by doing my weekly butterfly transect at Mill Hill. The results were disappointing as numbers were very low and the few Adonis Blues were weather beaten following the exceptionally heavy rainfall of the past few days. Count (previous week's numbers in brackets): Adonis Blue male 3 (15), female 5 (3), Small Heath 6 (16).
view from Mill Hill showing flooded field
Red Poppy, Papaver rhoeas
Wild Rose, Rosa acicularis
I then headed to the Surrey Glanville Fritillary site without the smell of salt water often deemed necessary for the enjoyment of this butterfly on the Isle of Wight. This is a beautiful little area with a lake full of Marsh Frogs making their presence heard loudly. The Glanvilles were visible on the main path, but we saw most on a sloping meadow by the lake which was rich with plantains, the larval foodplant. There was plenty of other life to make the trip memorable including Banded Demoiselles, a juvenile Grass snake, a Bee orchid and my first Large Skippers of the year.
Banded Demoiselle, Calopteryx splendens
Banded Demoiselle, Calopteryx splendens
Bea Orchid, Ophrys apifera
Bea Orchid, Ophrys apifera
Field Horsetail, Equisetum arvense
Glanville Fritillary, Melitaea cinxia
Glanville Fritillary, Melitaea cinxia
Glanville Fritillary, Melitaea cinxia
Glanville Fritillary, Melitaea cinxia
Glanville Fritillary, Melitaea cinxia
Glanville Fritillary, Melitaea cinxia

Glanville Fritillaries, Melitaea cinxia, male and female
Glanville Fritillary, Melitaea cinxia

Large Skipper, Ochlodes faunus
Large Skipper, Ochlodes faunus
Yellow Loosestrife, Lysimachia vulgaris
Yellow Loosestrife, Lysimachia vulgaris
On the way home I walked through the heathland by Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve and a herd of Fallow deer dashed across my path.
Azure Damselfly, Coenagrion puella
Four-spotted Chaser, Libellula quadrimaculata
Fallow Deer, Dama dama, female


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