Butterfly Survey 14.08.15

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Two commas feeding on a nectar rich late flowering veronicastrum. These lea like butterflies lay their eggs on nettles and hops. Their numbers have declined with the loss of hop gardens.

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A restless clouded yellow in the orchard meadow, a summer migrant from Europe. Still no sighting of the silver washed fritillary of two summers ago alas. This large orange and black fritillary needs violets in woodland to survive.

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Butterfly survey 31.08.15

IMG_20150731_131318911 The last couple of weeks have really seen numbers pick up in the meadows.

This is a small copper.

IMG_20150731_131022774This is a common blue attempting to mate with a female who seemed less keen and kept turning away from his advances .IMG_20150731_130559917   This very fresh peacock compared starkly with a poor battered one in the high garden that looked liked shredded paper (not pictured)

IMG_20150725_140423350     One of many gatekeepers. This should be the time for white admiral s who love honeysuckle so keep a look out. They are brown and white.

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Correction to last blog.

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Hi sorry for the confusion… This is a meadow brown not a gate keeper as it lacks the eyes on the pale area.

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Butterfly survey 10.07.15

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The numbers of butterflies soared with the temperatures. 150 in total. With 9 species. The best day since we started recording.

This red admiral’s markings were glowing as the light shone through its wings as it fed on brambles in the woods.

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A comma resting on the telegraph pole in the field. They are nettle feeders and use hops too.

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Gate keepers can look like meadow brown and small heath but theirdistinctive pale wing bar helps with ID.

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The diminutive ringlet tolerates shady edges of grassand its darker outline in flight help to differentiate it from other browns.

 

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Butterfly survey 03.07.2015

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Love is in the air. With temperatures heading for 30 degrees  a small skipper scents the air hoping to attract a mate.

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Two meadow browns get it together on the prairie. The female will then, with her characteristic lilting flight lay her eggs on the grasses.

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Butterfly survey 26.06.15

 

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A small skipper basking in the morning sun. These little butterflies are never still quivering even at rest with a fast dashing flight they can be mistaken for a moth. They lay their eggs in the sheath of the grass stem and overwinter there as a little group of tiny caterpillars, so most are lost when the meadows are cut annually

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This is the flight season of the meadow brown. This female was taking a quick rest between egg laying on the grass in the orchard meadow. The 2nd brood of caterpillars hatch and overwinter low down so more escape the mowing than the skippers.

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Butterfly survey 12.06.15

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A Speckled wood guarding a patch of sunlight on the track to the wood.

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A pair of common blues were courting and feeding on the prairie.

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The odd peacock is about, they look new and shiny so maybe newly hatched from eggs laid by early emerged adults who hibernated .

 

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