Sunday, 24 July 2011

Big butterfly counting

The Safari saw that the Peregrine was once again roosting on the tower late last night but again had gone before we were out and about this morning.
Once back at Base Camp it was time to check the contents of the moth trap. Something had laid its eggs on the outside of the 'funnel'...
New for the year was this Bright-line Brown-eye

And a Yellow Shell

Topping the bill was this second generation Early Thorn with its butterfly-like stance.

After a hearty Sunday brunch it was out into the sunshine at the Butterfly Zone again, we had hoped to go a bit further but are financially embarrased at the mo due to an impromptu car service so we decided to stick local. This arvo we did a 15 minute count on the rough field and another 15 minute count in the Zone itself.

A dozen or so Swallows wizzed about over the tree tops with a hard to count exactly two or three Swifts. A Sparrowhawk zapped by and made the Swallows twitter like crazy. From deep within the scrub a Blackcap sang and a female was seen while at the other end of the scrub a Chiffchaff 'hweet'ed.

Our quarter of an hour in the rough field gave us a grand total of 36 butterflies of six species and we nearly got a decent pic of a Small Copper.

By contrast the Butterfly Zone gave us 46 of nine species, 10 if we count the out of time Large White...and no White Letter Hairstreaks today.

We chased round after this Comma that was laying its eggs on the nettles. We tried unsuccessfullyy to get a side on pic of her reaching round with her abdomen to place the egg on the leaf but she would only do this in dense cover so you'll have to make do with a full 'ID' laying shot on the edge of the scrub.

Two Common Blues were found in the field but this one was the only one we saw in the Butterfly Zone.

After their recent colonisation of the site Gatekeepers are now fairly numerous.

And in the Butterfly Zone we did, after some hectic chasing around, get a half decent pic of the Small Copper. With the warm sunshine and being sheltered from the stiff breeze they were pretty lively today!

No Red Admiral today, instead we found a very fresh Small Tortoiseshell which very obligingly fed on the Creeping Thistles.

All the time we were there the grasshoppers sang without a break, a beautiful chorus of sunny summer afternoons. This is Field Grasshopper told by the sharp angles on the pronotum.

We spotted these two Brown Lipped Banded Snails - not exactly sure what they are upto - but on downloading the pic spotted a third little on under the lefthand one and a hoverfly on the right hand one...weird or what, some species of flies lay their eggs in snails but do any of the hovers?

We abandoned ship when the Cleggs appeared - got bitten just above the sock on BOTH legs...
But just before we left we took a couple of videos of the Butterfly Zone to give you a bit of an impression of what it's like, you'll notice that it's only quite small.

On the way back to Base Camp there were more Swallows and even a couple of House Martins flying about!

And no White Letter Hairstreaks at all today!

Where to next? Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

In the meantime let us know if the biting things are still biting in your outback.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

I read a few blogs today Dave, and it seems their are quite a few Butteflies about today, making the most of the better weather!!