With few highlights for me with either butterfly or bird it has been mainly the moths that have given me the odd small highlight. Having run the moth trap a few times on the suitable nights a few species have appeared which I've only caught a few times before with the most spectacular being the wonderful Merveille du Jour. Such a beautiful moth that only when seen on lichens does it become clear why it is coloured the way it is
Thursday, 21 October 2021
Sunday, 10 October 2021
A couple of days ago I went for a bike ride and as I took the bike out of the garage I noticed a Red Admiral asleep on the wall. When I returned the butterfly was still there, and I also noticed the pupa case that it had emerged from hanging from a nearby drainpipe.
With the front of the house staying in shadow until the early evening I decided to take the butterfly to the back garden where it would stand a better chance of warming up and feeding before the cold night came. With light winds and quite cloudy conditions it only warmed up slowly which gave me plenty of opportunities to get some photos of the obviously very fresh individual.
Tuesday, 5 October 2021
This was my 3rd year of hunting the rarely seen Clearwing moths. With 15 species in the UK I was pleased to see two thirds of the species this year.
I may one day get over to the West of the country to see the Welsh and the Thrift and just maybe one day I will see the extremely rare Fiery and scarce Hornet Clearwing. The other one I didn't see this year was the Sallow Clearwing which is only regularly seen on even years, as the lifecycle is over 2 years and this is the first year that any have been found on an odd year as far as I know.
It's only a few months of the year when these special moths are found, and the only way to see them easily is with a pheromone lure that imitates virgin females.
My first Clearwing of the year was the 6th June when I saw both the White-barred Clearwing and the Large Red-belted Clearwing, and my last of the year was the 12th August with the Raspberry Clearwing. Of the 10 seen the only new ones to me were the Currant Clearwing, that I caught in my garden and was the first Seaford record since the 1990s and the Orange-tailed Clearwing, that was also my favourite species and gave me my best photograph of a Clearwing this year.
Tuesday, 28 September 2021
A few weeks ago Matt and I were leading a tour for Naturetrek with a target of several late summer downland butterflies.
The previous week Pete and I went to a couple of sites that just needed checking out to make sure they were suitable for the forthcoming trip. As it turned out it was a very worthwhile exercise.
With plenty of Adonis Blue and Autumn Ladies Tresses seen we then headed for one of the Brown Hairstreak sites where we were treated to a couple of very nice female Brown Hairstreak. There were plenty of other delights at both sites and therefore day one of the tour was sorted!!
Saturday, 25 September 2021
In what has been pretty disappointing catches in the moth trap recently, I was very surprised and pleased to catch a Lace Border, one I assume that had come from my little local colony. This perhaps shows that the colony may be looking to expand out from its main area?
Sunday, 19 September 2021
It doesn't seem possible that it now seems Autumn is just about here. Fortunately, the past week has been reasonable weather-wise, with light winds (at last) and some sunshine.
A few strolls out and about have given me a few opportunities to photograph a few bits of interest, both along a stretch of river and some local woodlands.
It is quite a good time of year to look out for some immature stages amongst the insects, and several nice caterpillars have been found, it was also good to see the Willow Emerald numbers have built up in one of my local colonies. It is also a good time for getting the odd surprise as some 3rd brood butterflies get going. This week alone I've seen some fresh Wall Brown, Brown Argus and the gorgeous Small Copper. Red Admirals seem to be everywhere as does some very fresh Comma.