I've only managed a couple of short visits to the patch this week despite the wonderful Autumnal weather.
The first visit was good seeing several female Wall Brown busy laying eggs in the grass tussocks. Hopefully this will give me several hours of fun looking for the young larva in the new year. Several Wall Brown were also busy nectaring on the Devil's-bit Scabious flowers, and it was while I was watching this that I saw an odd shape on one of the stems. Looking through the binoculars I could see it was a caterpillar. By getting much closer I could photograph it where it was and I could see it was the larva of the Knot Grass moth.
Knot Grass larva on Devil's-bit Scabious stem.
Further down the hill I was watching a female Small Copper that was clearly looking for egg laying plants. When it flew up I checked the leaf it was concentrating on and I could see several Small Copper eggs, some of which had already hatched, as well as feeding signs of the larva.
Small Copper eggs and feeding signs.
Several Clouded Yellow were also seen flying strongly around giving no opportunities for the camera. Always good to see these though, especially at this time of year when there are fewer species still on the wing.
A couple of days later I headed back up the hill just hoping I may see a Clouded Yellow going to roost. It was a little hopeful, and although I did see 2 flying around they settled out of sight. However, there was a pretty fresh Small Copper that I saw halfway up a bush taking advantage of the last bit of sunshine for the day. I could just about reach it without disturbing it, although there are times like this when I wish I was a little taller!!
Female Small Copper in the late afternoon sunshine.