Friday, 27 June 2014

Marbled Whites explode and a White-barred Twist shows

Small Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus
On Wednesday I did my Mill Hill butterfly transect and was amazed by the number of Marbled Whites on the wing, the largest number I have recorded since I started the survey in 2011. There were few Meadow Browns. This is the reverse of the usual ratio for these two butterflies: Comma 1, Marbled Whites 37, Meadow Brown 8, Small Heath 3, Small Tortoiseshell 3. I watched a Comma taking salts from an ancient canine dropping.

  I then visited Southwater Woods where I saw my first White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillaries of the year. I watched a micro moth fly up and then dive into the leaf litter beneath the plant border beside the path. I was able to watch it crawling among the leaf litter as it had a prominent white band I could see in the darkness of that habitat. My one clear photo of it enabled me to identify it as a rarely recorded White-barred Twist (Olindia schumacherana). I believe it was a female egg laying.
Orchid, Oncidium maculatum
This pretty little orchid had dozens of flowers when I bought it last year. It has been bare since then but recently produced two flowers with the promise of more to come.
Mill Hill:
7-spot Ladybird, pupa, Coccinella 7-punctata
Comma taking salts, Polygonia c-album
Common Froghopper, Philaenus spumarius
Garden Grass-veneer, Chrysoteuchia culmella
Musk Thistle, Carduus nutans
 Southwater Woods:
Common Nettle-tap, Anthophila fabriciana
Cucumber Green Spider, Araniella cucurbitina
Green-veined White, Pieris napi
Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
Tufted vetch, Vicia cracca
White-barred Twist, Olindia schumacherana

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