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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Man Orchid and Privet Hawk

I found my first Man Orchid on our reserves in many years while walking the Chapel Bank transect this morning.

At Hutchinsons Bank a few photographers were in the cutting, we found a few things of interest on the site

A Longhorn Beetle, and I found a male Privet Hawk Moth resting on a Hawthorn bush.
I also photographed the larva of the emperor moth.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Elephants and Tigers in the Garden

We found a fully grown Garden Tiger caterpillar in the garden, they used to be common, but have not been seen for a few years now.

Also 2 of the Elephant Hawkmoths from last summers caterpillars have hatched, both on the same day.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Denbies Hillside Adonis Blue Walk

The Butterfly Conservation walk at Denbies Hillside, Target Species Adonis Blue. On the Hillside a few orchids were in flower. Fragrant Orchid, and White Helleborine.

A male Adonis Blue was found that had 20% Female genes, one forewing only.

After returing from this walk, I visited Hutchinsons Bank, and found a few people who had seen or were looking for the Glanvilles.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Painted Lady

While walking the transect today, i noticed several migrants, and a Painted Lady settled on the path.

i managed to get in closer.

Also i found 2 more Glanvilles in the Cutting.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Marsh Fritillary

Was out on a West trip with Greenie today, target Species were Marsh Fritillary, the two Pearl Bordered Fritillaries and Duke of Burgundy.

At the first site,Cotley Hill , a Wiltshire butterfly reserve, we arrived before the butterflies were active and managed a few undersides.

Then the sun warmed up the fritillaries, and they started to pose open winged in the sunshine including several pairs. One posed on a Common Spotted Orchid.

Other Butterflies at this site included Green Hairstreak, Small Blue, Wall Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Brown Argus, Common Blue.

At Bentley Wood, we managed to find the 3 target species in the same clearing, the Pearl Bordered Frits were well past their best, The Small Pearls had only just emerged. In a quiet corner two Duke of Burgundy were posing on various shrubs.

Thanks to Greenie for a lovely day out, the lovely pictures of a yellowhammer i cant wait to see.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Hutchinsons Bank May Butterflies

The Glanville Fritillaries are still in reasonable numbers, in their usual spots on the site.
The female above was a few days ago

The male above was along the cutting. Other butterflies at the moment include large numbers of Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Common Blue. Today had my first sighting this year of Small Blue.
 Grizzled Skipper underside
A male Orange Tip was settling on the lower muddy track.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Hutchinsons Bank Butterfly Conservation Walk

We started off in dull weather with a large party of about 15 people, along the cutting were a few photographers looking for the Glanville Fritillary, 5 had been sunning themselves on the sunny side of the cutting, when the sun went in, so were closed winged at rest, after people had photographed them, we walked to Chapel Bank, with little butterfly interest on the way, only a couple of Dingy Skippers. At the entrance to Chapel Bank i checked the Elm Tree, and found 2 larvae of the White Letter Hairstreak, a first for most on the walk including the leader.

The sun came out for half an hour as we lunched at Chapel Bank, Green Hairstreak and Dingy Skipper were seen. We got wet walking back to Hutchinsons Bank, but as the others went home, i noticed a large patch of Blue Sky and waited in the cutting, and 3 Glanvilles were soon open winged and flying in the warmth.

A Small Copper has also been hanging around in the scrapes, and was seen again.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Frog Firle and Abbots Wood

Spent a lovely day, with Greenie, visiting Frog Firle and Abbots Wood in Sussex. Near the viewpoint at Frog Firle was a web of Small Tortoiseshell larvae.

Wall Browns were darting about, but didn't manage to photograph any this trip.

At Abbots Wood we soon found the Pearl Bordered Fritillary flying low over last years cut field, they have moved into this from the area we found them last year, it looks like they prefer very low scrub in a fresh clearing.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Denbies Hillside Walk

Here are a few pictures from todays walk.
A web of Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars was found on a nettle patch.
The freshly emerged Buff Tip moth was still expanding its wings.
A couple of interesting moths were also seen, including some nice micromoths  [
Small Purple-barred Phytometra viridaria]
and Lace Border

Dingy and Grizzled Skippers were flying about lots of Dingys, and only a few of the Grizzled below.

The last butterfly seen in the afternoon sunshine was a Brown Argus, again had only just hatched, and one of the wings not fully expaneded, looks like it was a slightly deformed pupa on the wingcase.