Sunday 30 April 2023

Slowly but Surely.

 It seems to be taking for ever this year for the butterfly season to get going, but over the past couple of days signs are improving. Even though, I can't remember the last time I hadn't seen a Grizzled Skipper by the end of April!! I thought I would be saying the same about Green Hairstreak too, but today I did spot a beautiful one. 

Two days running I have managed to get up on the hill, although it has been hard as after 3 years I've finally succumbed to Covid. I'm now fortunately well past the worst of it, I hope!!

Wall Brown numbers are slowly increasing. A beautiful female yesterday, followed by 3 or 4 males today. The Wall Brown pupa is changing colour, hopefully it is still healthy and it will soon be a new butterfly.

Female Wall Brown.

Wall Brown pupa.

Several smart Brimstone are busy flying currently. Yesterday I did get lucky finding one asleep on top of some Bramble leaves. I managed to get several photos as it slept although when the sun came out it did quickly warm up enough to take flight.

Male Brimstone.

Today it was more the turn of Speckled Wood with a nice encounter with two individuals. One of each sex too which was nice. The male spent some time warming up in the morning sunshine, whereas the female took a well earned rest from egg laying. Considering she had obviously mated , and had enough time for her eggs to ripen she was in fantastic condition with a hardly a mark on her.

Male Speckled Wood.

Female Speckled Wood.

Also photographed today was a gorgeous Green Carpet moth. Having struggled to photograph these in the past before they lose their colour, this is now the 2nd one in the past week or so.

Green Carpet.

A few species of Orchids are also coming into flower now, and this included today several Early Purple Orchids. One in particular though was well worthy of a photograph. I have a feeling it was the same plant that I photographed last year!!

Early Purple Orchid.

Near the end of the walk I was really pleased to find my first Small Eggar larval web of the year. I have been looking now for several weeks and was starting to get a bit concerned that I hadn't found any. I was not expecting to find so many this year as this moth does seem to have a 2 year cycle out in the wild and I have found that every other year numbers are good. Last year was very good. so this year is likely to be a much poorer year, but there again, I could be proved wrong!!

Small Eggar larval web.

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