On Saturday I had another long scrub clearance session on the patch. Whilst I was working I came across 3 Wall Brown larva. As it was so mild I decided that once I had finished the clearance I would spend 10-15 minutes to see how many in the vicinity I could locate. The milder weather certainly had brought the larva out in force and in quite a small area I had my highest ever count of 20. This was the 2nd time this week that I had beaten the highest count, so on Sunday, with unexpected warm weather I headed back for a more detailed count and although several of the larva that I had found Saturday were hiding, I once again had my highest count, this time seeing 34. This is a figure I never thought would have been possible of the fast declining butterfly. Hopefully many of these will avoid predation and make it a good 1st brood in the next few weeks.
As well as all those Wall larva I also found a single Speckled Wood larva as well as seeing both a Brimstone and Peacock on the wing. So of the 4 species of butterfly seen on the day 2 of them were larva, so maybe not really 4 species!!
Today, after a very wet morning I had a very short visit and only found a few larva. In these conditions they are quite visible as the water droplets can get stuck in their body hairs, so they probably hide deep in the grass to avoid predation.
Speckled Wood larva.
Wall Brown larva (near fully grown).
Wall Brown after a very wet morning.