Monday 21 March 2022

A Bit of Orange.

 Every year I go looking for the day flying moth, the Orange Underwing in a couple of local woodlands. It is a very frustrating little moth as it is very well camouflaged and so often the first time you see the moth is it taking off from the ground, only for it to immediately head up to the tree-tops. In all the years I've been trying I have only managed a small number of photographs, but if at first you don't succeed, then carry on trying!!

The first one I saw this year flew past me as I was watching the black Adder, but if I had taken chase at this point I would have disturbed the Adder so I held back. At least though I knew the moth was on the wing. Last week I had a couple of goes but I didn't get lucky at all. Today, another attempt and one was spotted as it flew up, but unusually, this one settled back on the ground a couple of times allowing a couple of photos. Not brilliant, but my first photo of one for around 6 years.

Orange Underwing.

Yesterday I went back to check on the Vapourer eggs and found a hopeful red spider/mite sitting on the eggs presumably hoping for a very filling meal. Whether this species often chooses Vapourer eggs for a meal I do not know. However, it once again shows how vulnerable early stages of butterflies and moths are.

An Arachnid waiting for dinner.

The weather continues to improve, and butterflies have been out in good numbers. Peacock have had a very good start to the year and probably over half of the butterflies I've seen have been Peacock and that would be over 50 of them by now. Comma have also been very evident over the past week and it has also been good seeing quite a few Small Tortoiseshell and Brimstone. Amazingly I hadn't had a definite Red Admiral until yesterday. I've now had 5 species, which is probably over 10 percent of the species I will see in the UK this year!!

A couple of Comma.

In the woodland last week a pair of Grey Wagtail were active and will hopefully be preparing to nest soon. This one was watching me from a small tree nearby.

Grey Wagtail.

Meanwhile the woodland flowers are bursting into life. Still a few weeks before the Bluebells flower, but the Wood Anemone, Lesser Celandine and Primrose are now looking good.

Wood Anemone.

Lesser Celandine.

Finally, another photo of the beautiful black Adder. This time resting on the reptile refugia.

Melanic Adder.

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