Friday, 6 June 2014

Friday Flutter Foray.


With the sun shining this morning I drove to the chalk downland at Denbies Hillside in the hope that I might catch up with an Adonis Blue. Heading steeply downwards across Steers Field it felt quite warm but there was a good breeze blowing the taller than expected feathery grass heads around and no sign of any flutters! Had I misjudged the timing of my visit ... well only time and patient searching would tell.

The first colouful insects to catch my attention were two Six-spot Burnet Moths (Zygaena filipendulae).

Before opening the gate to the lower hillside I then spotted a Large Skipper (Ochlodes venata) who had found a perch protected from the breeze.


Heading on downwards through the gate I spotted a Brimstone, a distant white butterfly, a possible Brown Argus and then a couple of Small Heath that defied the camera as usual!
While searching amongst the grass I found a charming Bee Orchid in its full glory. The lower petal resembles an insect and the flower is pollinated as the male insect attempts to mate with it .. another of natures wonders.


I eventually caught up with a few male Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) but didn't see any females.





Whilst I wasn't successful in my search for the Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus) to show a comparison with the Common Blue I located an image (see below) taken at the same site on 25 May 2011. The obvious distinction is the brilliant blue colouring and the black line cutting totally through the white fringes of its wings.
 
I met two other watchers who had also failed to find the Adonis so it is possible that our visit was a week too late. Oh well there is always next year and I intend to revisit this site throughout the summer for all the other chalk loving species.  FAB.

P.S. I have just read an e-mail from Butterfly Conservation that many of our rare butterflies have emerged two to three weeks earlier than last year and a week earlier on average due to the recent  mild weather.

Linking to Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters.

24 comments:

  1. Your photos show such beauty. The Common Blue is beautiful. Sorry you missed your target!

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  2. Not quite my cup of tea Frank, nevertheless very interesting.

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  3. Wow, that common blue is amazing. Never seen those before. Loved this post!

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  4. the blue ...and the 6-spot Burnet Moths were my favourites; great to see this range of insects on your post Frank Spruiking my sister-blog today, http://snaphappyonline.blogspot.com.au/

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  5. That Bee Orchid is really amazing. I had never even heard of it!

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  6. It's a shame that you missed out on seeing the Adonis Frank. The trouble with nature and wildlife is that it never sticks to a timetable...it's done just to annoy us you know!
    At least some of the other butterflies turned out and made your trip worthwhile...I've not seen a Large Skipper yet this year although I've seen lots of Bee Orchids around, they seem to be having a good year?
    Looks like you'll have to camp out on that hillside through August and September to see the Adonis when it next comes out to play?...[;o)

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    Replies
    1. Trevor, I thought about the 6 P's after this failed attempt .... 'p*ss poor planning promotes poor performance' but as you say nature always has a trick up its sleeve.

      If the early emergence patterns continue then we might have to start searching a lot earlier than suggested.



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  7. Another of those "you should have been here last week / day / year" kind of things!

    Nice pictures.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Stewart. Next time I'll try to plan my timing more appropriately.

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  8. Those are some lovely captures. Such amazing colors.

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  9. I love the blue butterfly. all your photos are wonderful.

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  10. The Bee Orchid is spectacular, matched equally by the Common Blue though.

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  11. Hi Frank Your shots are amazing. Love the both butterflies and orchid. Have a marvelous weekend.

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  12. Hi Frank, Thanks for the help with the Bug ID.

    I've seen a few Blues around here, but there too active to shoot!

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  13. Sure looks like a lovely place for a walk Frank. Gorgeous scenery. Beautiful blooms and flutters

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  14. Awesome captures of the butterfly and insects.. The orchid is gorgeous. Lovely photos and post. Thanks for linking up, have a happy weekend!

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  15. I loved seeing the skipper, butterflies and flowers! That blue is wonderful!

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  16. Wonderful photos! The orchid is amazing.

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  17. It was nice to take a look and see what's in your area :)

    Regards

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  18. That looks a glorious area to walk on a sunny day looking for butterflies Frank.

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  19. Hello Frank, I enjoyed reading your post and seeing those beautiful flowers, insects and butterflies. Lovely countryside too :D)

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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