Saturday 30 April 2011

Butterflies galore at Mill Hill

Small Copper
A hectic few days started at Rewell Wood again on Thursday morning followed by my new PC arriving which took a few hours to get set up and I'm still not in full photo production as I'm researching new software that will work with my raw Nikon files and a Windows 7, 64 bit system. Any suggestions welcome!

Yesterday I visited Mill Hill with Steve and did my weekly transect. It turned into a fabulous morning with new season species for both of us. Transect numbers were: 2 Brimstone, 26 Dingy Skipper, 6 Green Hairstreak, 1 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Holly Blue, 3 Orange Tip, 2 Red Admiral, 3 Small Heath, 2 Adonis Blue, 1 Green-veined White, 3 Wall Brown. Numbers seen after the transect were considerably higher than this. Firsts for the season for me were  were pristine Walls, Adonis Blues on the Horseshoe Vetch and a  Small Copper which young Jamie showed us.  Green Hairstreaks constantly landed in front of us as we walked along the shrub line and pairs fought. A pair of Adonis Blue and a pair of Brimstones got into the spirit of the day and gave us a great display of togetherness. We also met Steve (2) and Paul on the Hill.

Afterwards we set Steve up with Blog and Flickr accounts so I am expecting to see some of his great photos online!
Holly Blue 
Adonis Blue 
Brimstones pairing (the male is yellow)
Wall butterfly

Wednesday 27 April 2011

More fun with Pearl-bordered Fritillaries

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Yesterday I visited Rewell Wood twice. Firstly at 9am to catch the Pearl-bordered Fritillary with open wings, then at 6pm to find them roosting.

There was a strong breeze blowing in the morning and I visited a glade which has been good the past two years. However, it was overgrown and I didn’t see any PBFs. On the way back along the track I found plenty of PBFs nectaring on Bugle which gave me excellent open wing shots. This provided better backgrounds than the open area I had been visiting previously where they landed on dead bracken which is a very messy background. Two PBFs had rather different markings to normal and are aberrants. One is a known aberrant that is shown on UK Butterflies site. I also found other interesting insects and a lizard which scuttled across the path.
I found a few insects on the leaves:
moth, possibly Adela reaumurella
Hawthorn Shield Bug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale 
Wasp Beetle Clytus arietus
Pearl-bordered Fritillary

dark aberrant form of Pearl-bordered Fritillary

aberrant form of Pearl-bordered Fritillary (ab.transversa)
Fluttering around each other

In the evening I found five PBFs roosting on one buddleia, three on one dead flower:-

Monday 25 April 2011

Rewell Wood Fritillaries and Kithurst Hill Comma

This fine weather has forced me to out twice a day recently. Yesterday evening I visited Rewell Wood at 6pm to catch the Pearl-bordered Fritillaries roosting. At 9am I caught them waking up. This afternoon Sue joined me at Kithurst Hill where she found a Green Hairstreak and we met Sherie who joined us at Rewell Wood for some more roosting.
Pearl-bordered Fritillary roosting at 6pm

I started at Rewell Wood at 9am when the Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were warming their wings before their hectic day of nectaring on Bugle and mating:
Dead nettle and Bugle
Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Gorse Orbweaver, Agalenatea redii
Pearl-bordered Fritillary taking off

Caterpillar under a piece of felt
part of Slow Worm under a piece of felt

PBF taking off

PBF in flight
Yellow Pimpernel Lysimachia nemorum (above and blelow)

At 4pm we visited Kithurst Hill (Springhead):
Green Hairstreak
The meadow is a blaze of Cowslips
Dingy Skipper
Red Campion or English Maiden Silene dioica

Back to Rewell Wood at 6pm for more PBF roosting:

Gorse in all its glory