Thursday, 23 July 2009

Blowin' in the wind

There was a surprise in one of my moth traps this morning. At first it looked like and extra large Smoky Wainscot, but its very white head and white hind wing made it stand out.

Reed Dagger (Simyra albovenosa)

A quick look in the book confirmed that it is a Reed Dagger. It is normally confined to parts of East Anglia and the south coast, inhabiting reed beds and fenland. I suspect that moths reaching places where they are normally absent are probably immigrants.

Saltern Ear (Amphipoea fucosa)

Another moth that has appeared a few times this year is the Saltern Ear. I'd seen none until last year when I caught two and so far I've caught four this year. I wonder what has changed in the circumstances of this moth.

Another migrant that comes to our shores each year in Varying numbers is the Clouded Yellow. We haven't had a really large invasion for several years, perhaps this could be the year, there have been quite a few reports this week. This one was being blown about in the Paddock just before lunch today.
One of my favourite butterflies is the Marbled White. Many are coming towards the end of their time at the moment and this sad specimen was clinging on in the wind in the Freedown. Unlike yesterday there were no crowds today, and unfortunately no Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. There were lots of butterflies, I hope that people stopped to look at the masses of Painted Ladies and others once they'd seen the main attraction yesterday.

Back in my garden it was alive with butterflies, mostly Painted Ladies. When they weren't nectaring they often rested on the concrete path, presumably using the heat given out to warm themselves up.

The main attraction is the numerous Buddleia bushes (or trees). Sometimes called the Butterfly Bush it seems have a unique draw for butterflies and in particular those in the Nymphalidae family that includes Red Admirals. Painted Ladies and Peacocks.

The huge rise in Painted Lady numbers in the last few days is almost certainly due to the hatching of butterflies produced by the huge number that arrived in the last week of May. The breeding cycle is only about four weeks from egg to adult.

As well as the Painted Ladies there were a few Peacock Butterflies.

One or two Red Admirals were also around but sadly I didn't see one Small Tortoiseshell. I had hope that after a few appeared earlier in the year that this year might see a revival in their fortunes but so far it has be disappointing.

A note for John Van der Dol, I've changed the profile picture, just to try and make me look older than you, but your still loosing out!

1 comment:

marga said...

The peacock butterfly is amazing, so art nouveau!