Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Spirit Bears and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth

Hummingbird Hawk-moth egg laying on Galium species, Macroglossum stellatarum
Yesterday we lunched at Arundel WWT and while Sue relaxed in the viewing centre, I found a new micromoth, a Hemp-agrimony Conch (Cochylidia rupicola) and a Groundbug (Scolopostethus thomsoni). A Meadow Brown nectared on Oxeye Daisies and Brambles in the car park. In the evening we attended the last of this season’s Arundel WWT supporter’s group talks by Paul Stanbury from NatureTrek, who gave a fascinating photo show about The Great Bear Forest in Western Canada. The excellent photos included the Spirit Bear (see Sue’s blog) and finished with a Black Bear on a cliff looking down on a Killer Whale looking up at the bear. The Killer Whale was no doubt licking its lips.

Today I did my Mill Hill transect and found Marbled Whites and Small Heaths to be the most abundant butterflies: Common Blue 2, Marbled White 8, Meadow Brown 4, Peacock 2, Red Admiral 1, Small Heath 10, Small Tortoiseshell 2. I was delighted to see a Hummingbird Hawk-moth flitting around at great speed. When I looked at the photos I realised it was egg laying on a Galium species. This Butterfly Conservation page lists these food plants for the moth: 
Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum), Hedge Bedstraw (Galium album), Wild Madder (Rubia peregrina) and Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber). 
My last sighting of this continental immigrant was on Cissbury Ring in 2011.  A Wavy-barred Sable micromoth (Pyrausta nigrata) was a welcome addition.
This afternoon I attended a training session for volunteer videographers at Arundel WWT. Two White-headed ducklings had just hatched and were busy diving like mum: 
video 1  video 2
Common Froghopper, Philaenus spumarius
Common Froghopper, Philaenus spumarius
Box Bug, Gonocerus acuteangulatus
Groundbug, Scolopostethus thomsoni
Hemp-agrimony Conch, Cochylidia rupicola
Meadow Brown, Maniola jurtina

videos of Meadow Brown nectaring:  video 1   video 2

Oxeye Daisies, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum
White Water Lily, Nymphaea alba
Gipsywort, Lycopus europaeus
White-headed Duck with ducklings, Oxyura leucocephala
Mill Hill:
Hummingbird Hawk-moth egg laying on Galium plant, Macroglossum stellatarum
Meadow Brown, Maniola jurtina
this Meadow Brown was very unsteady on its feet. It was in pristine condition so may have been still drying out following emergence.
Wavy-barred Sable, Pyrausta nigrata

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