Saturday, 11 April 2015

Scarce Tortoiseshell and adders

Scarce Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis xanthomelas
On Thursday I walked my second butterfly transect at Mill Hill, Shoreham. I counted only 3 butterflies, a Brimstone, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell. It was still cool when I started at 10:30am and more butterflies appeared as the temperature rose in the early afternoon. I saw a coiled adder at the bottom of the steps. On the shrubbery at the bottom I found my first damselfly of the year, a male Large Red. Also a new micro moth, a Roller. John spotted a Wavy-barred Sable and Ian found a Brimstone Moth and a Straw-barred Pearl. All four moths were in pristine condition. Yellow dung flies were crawling over the Alexanders bushes by the car park.
  I then visited Pulborough Brooks again in case the Scarce Tortoiseshell was visible. It was showing when I arrived and stayed in its 'usual' area from 1:04 to 2:17pm.  A few other lucky enthusiasts were able to see the rarest butterfly in Sussex. See my previous post for more info:  A Willow Warbler sang nearby.

  I returned to Pulborough yesterday, but there was no appearance by the Scarce Tortoiseshell (aka Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell). Instead, a lovely black adder slithered across the grass and a silver one glided through the bracken. A Blue Tit carried moss to its nest and Dark-edged Bee-flies nectared on Lesser Celandines.
Adder, Vipera berus

Brimstone Moth, Opisthograptis luteolata
Little Roller, Ancylis comptana

Greenbottle, Lucilia species
male Large Red Damselfly, Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae
Straw-barred Pearl, Pyrausta despicata
Wavy-barred Sable, Pyrausta nigrata
Wood Violet, Viola riviniana
Alexanders, Smyrnium olusatrum
Ichneumon wasp, Ichneumon insidiosus

Yellow Dung Fly, Scatophaga stecoraria on Alexanders

it's Spring!
Pulborough Thursday:
Black Bulgar fungus, Bulgaria inquinans
Highland cattle
Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
Scarce Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis xanthomelas
aka Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell
Scarce Tortoiseshell
Scarce Tortoiseshell
Willow Warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus
Pulborough Friday:
Adder, Vipera berus

Blue Tit with nest material, Cyanistes caeruleus
Dark-edged Bee-fly on Lesser Celandine, Bombylius major
Dark-edged Bee-fly

Peacock, Inachis io
Periwinkle, Vinca major
Rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus
Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae
Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes
it worked its way along the bank.

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