Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Highlights of 2018: August

Not quite so much to post from August, as for most of the time we were out looking for fungi. It was a great year for fungi, Boletes in particular and we saw some really good stuff. I'll do a separate post about them later. We had a couple of butterflies yet to see for the year list and the first of these was Brown Hairstreak.

August 1st: Alners Gorse, Dorset.

Brown Hairstreak (No. 58) 

Clouded Yellow

August 4th: Castle Hill, West Sussex and Holt Heath, Dorset

Castle Hill is a superb reserve and there's always plenty to see. We were especially hoping to see the Helice form of Clouded Yellow which is regular 
here, we were out of luck on this visit though. We were very fortunate to find a couple of Wart-biters. The best way to locate them is to listen for their distinctive stridulation but on this occasion there was a combined harvester working in the valley bottom and the noise from this was particularly overbearing. Still luck was on our side.

Wart-biter - Decticus verrucivorus

Best butterfly was this lovely Small Copper with unusual diffuse colours/markings. 

Hairy Shieldbug nymph - Dolycoris baccarum

Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug - Aelia acuminata

Bordered Orb-weaver - Neoscona adianta

Wasp SpiderArgiope bruennichi 
On the very edge of this females web sat this..

A male Wasp Spider, the first one we'd ever seen. 
 I believe that he is waiting for her to complete her final moult so that he can approach to mate while her fangs are soft.
He's intently watching her, waiting for his chance... look closely and you can see his fixed gaze in her direction.

Biding his time, because his life depends on it!

On the way home we stopped off at Holt Heath In Dorset and in an Oak Tree next to where we parked the car we saw..

Buff Tip Moth caterpillars and the very punky...

Sycamore Moth Caterpillar

August 7th: Smardale Gill, Cumbria. 

Off to Smardale for Scotch Argus to complete our butterfly year-list, only problem was the weather wasn't looking too good. The forecast had said that the sun would break through in the late morning, so first thing we drove up to Knock Fell to have a look for the rare and beautiful Marsh Saxifrage.

Marsh Saxifrage - Saxifraga hirculus

The sun never did come out though and Smardale looked like this.. 

Fortunately it was warm, despite the cloud and we did see plenty of Scotch Argus. And lots more too!

Scotch Argus (No.59) 

This thistle head held four Scotch Argus, two Antler Moths and a Pyrausta purpuralis

Scotch Argus, Antler Moth and Pyrausta purpuralis 
 sharing a thistle flower

Hitching a ride on an Antler Moth - Cerapteryx graminis

One of the Ear Moths

A lovely Peacock

Yellow-barred Peat Hoverfly - Sericomyia silentis

Female Pale-saddled Leucozona - Leucozona glaucia

 Male Pale-saddled Leucozona - Leucozona glaucia

Furry Dronefly - Eristalis intricarius 

Humming Bird Hawk-moth - Macroglossum stellatarum

Wood CranesbillGeranium sylvaticum

August 16th: Eype, Dorset.

The cliffs at Eypes mouth in Dorset are one of only a handful of sites that are home to the Cliff Tiger Beetle. It was surprisingly easy to find but very difficult to photograph as it moves at lighting speed. Perseverance paid off though.

Cliff Tiger Beetle - Cylindera germanica

August 25th: Old Winchester Hill, Hampshire and Spur Bog, Purbeck Dorset

Off to Old Winchester Hill, near Warnford, Hampshire, to see what it was like for butterflies as neither of us had ever visited it for that reason before. We saw good numbers of Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue, and Silver-spotted Skippers but  they are down a very steep slope which I didn't like at all!

 Adonis Blue

 Chalkhill Blue 

Silver-spotted Skipper 

On the way home we stopped off at Spur Bog,Studland to have a look at the Marsh Gentians because I never get tired of seeing them. So many different shades of blue and white too!

Marsh Gentian - Gentiana pneumonanthe

Finally, a few photos from Ballard Down at the end of September, where we saw a few Clouded Yellows and a late Wall.


Gavin Haig said...

Lovely, as usual Karen. Obviously in 2020 I am going to have to make an effort to see Cliff Tiger Beetle as it's just down the road from me!

Karen Woolley said...

It's easy to find Gav, and there's lots of other glorious goodies to be seen there too!
I'm going back to try and get photos of the Long-horned bee.