Wednesday, 14 July 2010

But, but, but it's butterflies

The safari has been out looking for butterflies on Patch 1 this arvo. With some success it has to be said.
Three Small Coppers were counted, this is easily the best pic we've ever taken of one.
Small Skippers were abundant - this one is extremely fresh, there is no wear or damage on any of the peripheral white lines on her wings.
Similarly this male Large Skipper shows no wear or damage to his wings but just look at all the missing hairs on his thorax.
Unlike this ragged specimen that looks like he's been round the block a few times losing his golden margin and his inner black stripe as well but his thorax and abdomen are still fully furred. Wuo'ja credit it?
We didn't count the Meadow Browns but a guesstimate would be in the order of two dozen.
This lovely fresh Gatekeeper was pick of the bunch, the only one we saw although this is not a common butterfly on Patch 1 even being outnumbered by the - invisible today in the strong wind - White Letter Hairstreaks. We're certain the WLHs are scarce not because their foodplant is dying at a rate of knots but because the weather always seems to turn sh*te for them as soon as they emerge and they have such a short flight season - it doesn't seem fair!
Two Commas having a rare old go at each other didn't present a photo opportunity neither did a fast fly-through, caught on the wind, Small Tortoiseshell.
Once again probably over 100 butterflies seen in just a few square yards in under an hour but someone has dumped a load of brash cuttings all over one end of the area - we'll be on a mission to find out who aand get them moved like the stuff that was dumped on the Common Blue habitat at the far end of Patch 1 last week - what is it with these people???
Odds n sods included the male Sparrowhawk carrying prey - young Blue Tit - skimming low over the grass, almost taking the heads off a group of Woodpigeons that didn't see him coming - not good if for them had that been Mrs Sprog - -, swooping up into the foliage and subsequently out of view we almost instantaneously heard a lot of begging sounds; there are young in them there trees!
Frank did his usual find a Frog trick, a lot smaller than the last one he found but nicely marked nonetheless.
And the Safari is still searching for that Bumble Bee pic that's better than the last one. We do find them difficult - think it's the fact that they are always face down in a flower and don't keep still that makes them so tricky.
Where to next? With heavy rain all around the moth trap won't be going out so we've lost the window for a good few days as work is looming large on the near horizon. Tomorrow is our last day of freedom so it might be the cliffs and Patch 1 or maybe a safari somerwhere a little further but not too far flung; jobs to be done in the morning.
In the meantime let us know what butterflies are flying in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

nice selection of flutters dave. Some good pics today, well done!

Amila Kanchana said...

Amazing little critters!

cliff said...

Some terrific photos there Dave. The Small Copper is a gem, far better than anything I've ever managed of them. I'm loving the pristine Small Skipper too, and my photo envy continues with the Gatekeeper, I've not seen one of those for yonks!
A return visit to your little glade very soon is definitely on the cards.