Sunday, 26 April 2015

Magpie courtship, meconium and micro moths

Primroses and Cowslips at Heyshott
On Tuesday I visited Rewell Wood and found a Grizzled Skipper in the patch of Wild Strawberry where I saw them last year. A lizard obliged by staying still for a photo, a rare occurrence.
  On Wednesday afternoon a pair of Magpies attracted my attention outside our window by making loud noises. After seeing them mating I grabbed my camera and took some courtship shots, after which the lady developed a headache.
 I did my Mill Hill butterfly transect on Thursday and saw my first Dingy Skipper at the site. While I was photographing one it ejected pink meconium onto the leaf below it.
Meconium is the fluid that butterflies and moths expel after they leave the chrysalis. It is a metabolic waste product from the pupal stage that is expelled through the anal opening of the newly emerged adult butterfly. There is an authoritative account here:
I spotted the underside of a dead leaf and was struck by its similarity to the underside of a Brimstone hind wing. I have previously noted the similarity of the Brimstone’s colour and shape to the Ivy that a male had roosted in for a day last year. The camouflage of butterflies is amazing.

  On Friday I visited Heyshott escarpment and didn’t see a single butterfly in spite of the temperature warming up in the afternoon. Plenty of Primroses and Cowslips are ready for the Duke of Burgundy to lay its eggs on soon. On the way back I checked out a Rewell Wood site and found several micro moths.
Brimstones and leaf
Rewell Wood Tuesday:
Grey Gorse Piercer, Cydia ulicetana
Common Lizard, Zootoca vivipara
Dark-edged Bee-fly, Bombylius major
Grizzled Skipper, Pyrgus malvae on Wild Strawberry
Grizzled Skipper on Wood Violet
Wood Violet, Viola riviniana
Magpie courtship:

Magpie, Pica pica
Mill Hill:
Dingy Skipper and meconium, Erynnis tages
Dingy Skipper meconium
Dingy Skipper and meconium
Dingy Skipper meconium
Dingy Skipper, Erynnis tages

pollen beetle, Meligethes aeneus on Horseshoe Vetch, Hippocrepis comosa
snail, Oxychilus species
Wood Violet, Viola riviniana
Heyshott escarpment:
Cowslip, Primula veris 
Cuckoo Flower, Cardamine pratensis and Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Cuckoo-pint, Arum maculatum
Early Purple Orchid, Orchis mascula
Early Purple Orchid
Herb Robert, Geranium robertianum
Heyshott escarpment 
Forget-me-not Myostis species
Pied Hoverfly, Scaeva pyrastri
pollen beetle, Meligethes aeneus
Primroses and Cowslips 
white Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Wild Strawberry, Fragaria vesca
Wood Violet, Viola riviniana
Wood Violets, Viola riviniana
Cowslip, Primula veris
Rewell Wood:
Dark Bush Cricket, Pholidoptera griseoaptera
Dotted Brown Lacewing, Hemerobius micans
Hemp-agrimony Plume, Adaina microdactyla 
Small Purple and Gold, Pyrausta aurata
Small Purple and Gold
Rewell Wood Saturday:
Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Dark Bush Cricket, Pholidoptera griseoaptera
Spear-winged fly, Lonchoptera species
fly - id needed
fly - id needed
Grizzled Skipper, Pyrgus malvae
14-spot Ladybird, Propylea 14-punctata
Sweat Bee, Lasioglossum species
Vetch Piercer in habitat, about 1cm long
Vetch Piercer, Grapholita jungiella
Vetch Piercer
Yellow Pimpernel, Lysimachia nemorum
Yellow-legged Mining Bee, Andrena flavipes

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