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Posts Tagged ‘Large Skipper’

I’m still mulling over how best to tackle the volume of moth traffic left over from last night: having reviewed the photographs I took I count at least 20 species including a couple of new micro moths and a couple of mystery macros, plus a balance of what are this year’s regulars. The simplest thing might well be a simple photo gallery of the whole damned lot and if I can work out how to do that it might well be the way I dispose of last night’s crop ahead of what ever today brings.

The day was hot and after taking care of the home fires I went out for a walk, hat on head and sunblock on exposed parts.

Large Skipper (ochlodes sylvanus) F

Large Skipper (ochlodes sylvanus) F

 In these parts we see plenty of Essex Skippers; this is not one. As a species of butterfly it is significantly larger than the Essex Skipper, it has the same tones but is quite differently marked. This is the female of the species as it lacks the tell-tale diagonal across those wings.  That diagonal line is formed of scent scales that are scattered during the courtship flight to entice the ladies.

There were quite a few of them about chasing one another up and down the lane, skirting the tall grasses at the foot of the hedgerow. This is the only one to rest long enough for me to photograph it.

There were plenty of white butterflies about, most of them seemed to be the Large White, and I guess there are still Painted Ladies about though I thought I saw a Red Admiral, though it is slightly early in the year.

Apart from the Large Skipper the other new butterfly I spotted on my walk was a male Meadow Brown which is a much larger butterfly; this one is marked as male by the eye on each upper wing.

Meadow Brown (maniola jurtina)

Meadow Brown (maniola jurtina)

People watching me on one of my ambles must think I’m bonkers. Particularly if I have my eye on something such as one of these butterflies I might walk back and forth along a stretch of path no longer than 5 metres several times before moving on – and then there’s the crouching, pulling and kicking.

The crouching is unavoidable and the pulling isn’t unreasonable. The kicking is gentle stirring of the grasses and low foliage to get a rise out of anything asleep down there. It is new learned behaviour and still slightly goes against the grain after growing up in Australia where no-one under any circumstances sticks a foot let alone a hand into random bits of the unkempt and potentially leathal outdoors.

Sadly today there were very few moths – the two I did spot were gone before I could bring the camera to them. There were consolations; self sown sweet pea is in full bloom at the moment and added fabulous colour to the walk:

Self sown sweet pea

Self sown sweet pea

as did this abandoned cultivated rose which is throwing out gorgous and heady scented blooms for random appreciation.

Cultivated rose

Cultivated rose

The creature of the day today was the grasshopper. Stirring the grasses invariably resulted in a scattered flicker as nearly wholly disguised insects bounded to somewhere else, given away only by the stirring of the grasses they passed through and landed on.

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

The other though dubious highlight of the afternoon’s walk was my first damselfly of the year, though as damselflies go it was a quite jaw-droppingly drab creature.

The same could not be said of this creature. These pictures have already been uploaded to my flickr photostream and are the first to have attracted comment. I’m not wholly surprised.

100_2665

Unidentified fabulous bug of some kind

Unidentified fabulous bug of some kind

[PS. I put this up on my flickr photostream and now a kind individual has come along to give me an ID - it is a male Fat Legged Beetle (Oedemera nobilis. Makes sense.]

And since this is a generally colour saturated post I’m going to end it with another gratuitous flower pic.

A colourful full stop.

A colourful full stop.

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