Monday, 15 September 2014

A Butterfly Day

I mentioned in my last post about the area where I found the Painted Lady Butterfly and at the same time I had found quite a collection of species for the time of year. 

The image above is the area in question, which is heathland and forms part of the overall Woodland Nature Reserve

The species below are the best of the rest, although that is a bit disingenuous especially when it relates to the first species shown below. 

The Red Admiral.

The Large White

The Small Tortoiseshell

The Brimstone

The Comma

The Small White

The Peacock

The Green-veined White

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Vanessa Returns

The Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

Just occasionally we get a mass invasion of Painted Lady in the UK and my records show that the last time was 2009.  I recall that if one found some, it would be dozens at a time and collecting suitable photographs was easy. Since then I only ever see the odd one in each year, in fact I think it has only been one a year since 2009 and mostly I find that odd one at the Woodland/Heath Reserve that I visit regularly.

This week I visited the Woodland/Heath in question. It was a warm sunny morning, but due to the time of year I did not expect to find much in the way of butterfly life.

Bizarrely, while I was looking around an open heath area I heard the sound of a Mute Swan and soon observed it flying over. I took a few shots and then looked back down on the nearby flowers. There it was, a Painted Lady Butterfly. It was in reasonably good condition and I took as many shots as I could in case it made off. I then continued on my walk around the area and found quite a variety of other butterflies which I will post about subsequently. On more than one subsequent occasion I found the same Painted Lady again and took more shots. So I had plenty to choose from for this post. 

Due to its wingspan I am inclined to think this one is a female. An average for a female is 70mm as opposed to a male which is 64mm.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A Late Blue

One of the second and later brood of the Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus icarus). 
This was a pleasant surprise to find in grassland on a very dull day with little else of interest to photograph.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Who gets the Bread

OK, place your bets, who is going to get the piece of bread that is lying in the water at the centre of the photograph. The female Swan (top right of the image) looks to be favourite as she is closest and has got her eyes firmly fixed on the bread. The immature Black-headed Gull looks a long way away at this point and has to be fearful of the big ugly Swan.

The Swan is definitely closer now.

Or is she.

Could still go either way, the Swan's beak is definitely in the water and surely the gull doesn't stand a chance now.

Still don't know for certain.

There you go, always bet on the gull, they are crafty as a bag load of monkeys.

If you thought it was going to be the Swan, then you were just too Gull-ible.{:))