Monday 16 July 2012

Silver-studded Blues and Stuff

Yesterday with  the forecast promising sunny intervals I decided to go and try my luck with Silver-studded Blues on the East Devon Commons. It was reasonably sunny when I left Seaton but when I arrived at the Silver-studded Blue site I was greeted with total cloud cover and it was unseasonably chilly in a northwesterly breeze. So what's new!? I didn't give up hope though because Silver-studded Blues are known to fly in less than optimum conditions. None were flying but as I walked around I did spot one or two hunkered down in the vegetation and eventually one fluttered up from by my feet and landed in view, allowing me to get a couple of photos. It even crawled onto my hand, which butterflies seem to do quite readily in cool conditions, seeking out the warmth. I also saw several Small Heaths,  a lone Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary and a Silver-washed Fritillary, which zoomed past. Unfortunately I'd forgotten to change the ISO setting on my camera after using it indoors and the photos are a bit grainy.

I think this is the first photo of a Small Heath I've put on this blog. They are just so easy to ignore when bigger and/or better butterflies are around.

A pretty worn out looking Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, only the second I've seen this year.

Something I've never seen before 'in the wild' , the white form of Cross-leaved Heath.

After I got back to Seaton the weather improved dramatically with long sunny spells developing ... Oh Joy! I decided not to waste the opportunity and visited a nice meadow that I know of  on the outskirts of Beer. I was hoping to see  Marbled Whites and possibly some Pyramidal Orchids.  There was only one Marbled White but quite a few Meadow Browns, Ringlets and good numbers of Silver Y Moths. I also spotted my first Small Skipper of the year but it soon did a vanishing trick. The butterflies were very active patrolling for a mate rather than spending time nectaring so I had very few photo opportunities. I decided to photograph some flowers instead.

 Marbled White

Meadow Browns

 Usually seen on umbillifers, but in this meadow thistles were the flower of choice for Common Red Soldier Beetle orgies!

Most of the umbillifers I saw were covered with these colourful Mirid Bugs, Grypocoris stysi

Cut-leaved Crane's-bill 



 Field Scabious

Pyramidal Orchid

This afternoon I took Rex for a walk in the woods, and although it was raining I did see a few Meadow Browns, Ringlets and a Lovely Red Admiral. I didn't see any Silver-washed Fritillaries though and haven't seen any in any of the local woods this year yet.


 I also took a couple of photos of this common woodland plant today, which I like the name of.

Hedge Woundwort

I like the name because it always makes me think of  General Woundwort from Watership Down who utters my all time favourite 'famous last words'....

  Come back! Come back and fight! Dogs aren't dangerous!


JRandSue said...

Fantastic to see so many Butterflies,not been that lucky this year, terrible weather.
But,still trying.
Stunning captures.

Gaina said...

Beautiful photos :). Thanks for the photograph of the Hedge Woundwort, I've been seeing this (I think) lovely flower on my walks to and didn't know what it was.