#30DaysWild, 30 Days Wild, British butterflies, British moths, butterflies, Common blue, Large skipper, Meadow Brown, moths, Pyrausta purpuralis, Ringlet, Six-spot burnet, Small skipper, Small white, Speckled wood
Day 25 of #30DaysWild was hot – the hottest day of the year so far in Wales! I’m not a huge fan of the heat or the burning sun – one of the reasons I moved to Britain was to escape them, but the climate is a’changing. The only good thing about sunshine is that it brings out the Lepidoptera, the butterflies and moths, though even they looked a bit frantic, as if the heat was making them crazy. Still, on my Penarth – Lavernock – Cosmeston – Penarth circuit, I did manage to see my first Small skipper for the year and a host of other fantastic Leps as well.
I had never seen any Fritillary butterflies until today, so, on day 22 of #30DaysWild, I’ve had a very exciting afternoon seeing my very first High Browns, Dark Greens and Small Pearl-bordereds. These butterflies were very fast fliers and didn’t settle long so I didn’t get many shots, and didn’t manage any of the High Browns. Below are three different Dark Green Fritillaries and one Small Pearl-bordered … plus a few other butterflies we saw.
I did manage to get reasonable images of some of the many lovely little Small heath butterflies, the one Six-spot burnet moth we saw, and, my favourite, this cute Large skipper. ‘Twas a grand day!
#30DaysWild, 30 Days Wild, Blue-tailed damselfly, Broad-bodied Chaser, Common blue butterfly, Emperor dragonfly, Large Red damselfly, Large skipper, Lavernock Nature Reserve, Six-spot burnet, Small copper, Speckled wood
Day 12 of my #30DaysWild was spent wandering around the nature reserve at Lavernock. Though it’s not yet the riot of colour it will be in another month or so, many wildflowers are already blooming, including the Common spotted and Pyramidal orchids, and plenty of critters were feasting on nectar and pollen.
Today’s highlights included my first Six-spot burnet moth of the year, which was dazzling in the bright sunlight, and my second Small copper butterfly, a rather tatty looking specimen but still lovely to see. The Large skippers, Common blues and Speckled woods were abundant, and I also saw whites, a Brimstone and several Meadow brown butterflies.
The pond was alive with dragon- and damselfly action, with both a female Emperor and a female Broad-bodied chaser ovipositing. There were three male Broad-bodied chasers constantly squabbling over territory and a Four-spotted chaser trying to avoid them all. Damselflies included Large reds, Common blues, Azures and Blue-tailed. ’Twas a very lively place today!
Perhaps it would be easier to ask ‘What’s not on the scabious?’ because it seems that almost every type of fly, bee, butterfly and beetle loves this plant, though that may also be because the Devil’s-bit scabious flowers in late summer – early autumn, when most wildflowers have finished flowering, and so it provides a last delicious taste of summer’s sweetness.
The pretty lilac of teasel flower is beginning to fade now but the mini beasts have certainly been enjoying its nectar. In my local parks and reserves it’s a favourite with the 6-spot Burnet moths and with bees of all species. And not long after those pretty little flowers fade away, the seeds will begin to form and grow, and provide food for the birds, particular the dapper little goldfinch, during the winter months. I’ll try to catch photos of them on the teasels in a couple of months’ time.
I have never before seen as many 6-spot Burnet moths (Zygaena filipendulae) as I saw last Monday in one of the fields at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park. I stopped counting at one hundred and there were many many more. They are gorgeous little flying machines and glowed like wee red bumblebees as they flitted from the sunshine-yellow ragwort flowers to the more subtle but no less glorious lilac and purple blooms of knapweed, meadow thistle and teasel. They were wondrous to behold.
It’s Monday. I’ve had a meeting about a forthcoming fungi presentation, followed by a busy morning on the computer and feel I need a blast of fresh air so decide to do one of my local walk circuits, taking in one side of Cardiff Bay and Penarth Marina. And I’m so glad I do ’cause the air is alive with butterflies and moths. They are common enough species but I am amazed and delighted to see such a variety and so many in just a 2-hour walk.
There are Comma (Polygonia c-album), Common blue (Polyommatus icarus), Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus), Large skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus), Meadow brown (Maniola jurtina), Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus), Six-spot burnet (Zygaena filipendulae), Small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Small white (Pieris rapae), and Speckled wood (Pararge aegeri). This is my idea of heaven!