Friday, 26 April 2013

Tortoiseshells courting

Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae
On Tuesday morning I joined a beach clean-up at Bognor organised by the Marine Conservation Society and sponsored by Marks and Spencers. It lasted 11am-1pm and the 60 or so volunteers collected 40 kilos of rubbish from the beach around the pier area, plus a broken chair. About 20 people were M&S staff and the rest local volunteeers. Refreshments were provided by M&S who do a great job via their Plan A which aims to make them the world’s greenest retailer. They provide excellent support to ButterflyConservation. MCS lead the field in their quest to preserve the UK’s marine life.

Yesterday I did my butterfly transect at Mill Hill and was surprised that the Dingy Skipper was still not out. It is now a month late compared with last year. There were plenty of Peacocks fighting at the bottom of the hill, plus some Small Tortoiseshells and male and female Brimstones and a Comma. A Buzzard circled overhead.

On the way home I visited Ferring Rife where I knew there would be some Tortoiseshell action. I had about 40 sightings along the west bank, including courtship behaviour. The male was behind the female and fluttered his wings constantly. Lesser Celandines were abundant.

In the evening I attended a SusSAR training session where members of the Brighton and Hove area Samaritans told us about their work. The branch has been in existence for 45 years, and the Samaritans for 60 years.
Buzzard, Buteo buteo
Ferring Rife:

sea mist rolls in
rich Small Tortoiseshell territory

Lesser Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria
Lesser Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria
Small Tortoiseshells courting.
male is fluttering his wings behind the female.
Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae

Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae

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