Saturday 7 May 2011

Under Hooken and Axmouth Beach

When the sun came out yesterday l wasted no time in getting over to Beer Head and down into The Under Hooken  hoping to find Small Blues. This was another location where they were discovered last year and their reappearance would be proof of breeding. If I'd have kept up my daily walk I might have seen lots of butterflies down here by now but sadly I gave up that idea, not due to idleness, honest! I was enjoying it, but that was until the glorious weather over the Easter holidays. It just became too busy for me, unless I did it very early, but I couldn't get there most mornings until at least 8.30. Anyway I did manage to spot a lone male Small Blue perching on a patch of nettles. Also of note were plenty of Dingy Skippers and a few Green Hairstreaks and Wood Whites.  Later I returned to the beach to the east of Axmouth and found another Small Blue, a female this time, after Tuesday's male. Lots of Dingy Skippers here too and a couple of new insects for me, which have always been here I've just not been observant enough before I suppose.

Small Blue

Wood White

Green Hairstreak. 
Typically leaning over to get maximum sun on its wings.
His generic name Callophrys is apparently Greek for 'beautiful eyebrow'
Easy to see how it got that name. Er,!
Female Small Blue
This brightly coloured insect is a Cuckoo Wasp ( lays eggs in nests of other insects) or Jewel Wasp (even more self explanatory) This one is of the species hedychrum niemelai The Ruby-tailed Wasp and is a female. Males have a green thorax. I couldn't get very good photos as they're so fast! I'll have another go one day I know they're there!
  This is a female Spiny Mason Wasp Odynerus spinipes. Here seen in the act of building the chimney which characterizes the species' burrow.


Skev said...

That Ruby-tailed Wasp is superb - one I'd love to see.

catharine said...

Didn't know such a beautiful wasp existed - lovely photo