Sunday, July 14th 2019
Catherine carried out the butterfly survey yesterday and recorded 257 Ringlet Butterflies. As I walked around this morning when it was dull and overcast there were still plenty flitting from grass to grass. Investigation found that these butterflies will fly even in the rain. Some research suggests that the caterpillars take in poisons from the fungi that often infect their food plants, grasses. These poisons are retained by the adults and the rings on their wings may be a warning to predators that they are not very nice to eat!
She also recorded 6 Speckled Woods, 13 Small Skippers and 17 Meadow Browns. As soon as the temperature warmed up and the sun came out this afternoon, a very large Painted Lady was seen and Common Blues. We usually see Common Blue butterflies as shown below. (Apologies for one taken in August last year but today's was totally out of focus.)
I managed to catch this one 'on camera', it has brown markings and the blue colour is not as intense. It is still a Common Blue.
Four-spotted Chasers were on Plover's Pool and then a very small one flew into the undergrowth. Creeping up as quietly as I could I realised that it was a Common Darter, the first to be recorded this season.
The lake seemed still with not much movement when I felt myself being watched. I was half hidden behind the vegetation as was the Little Grebe so if was not easy to obtain this photograph. If you look carefully you can see that there is a chick on its back.
The weed is dense in places and so I was unsure if I was looking at weed or ducks. There were actually several ducks and when I was close enough, saw that they were Tufted Duck chicks. They were spread over an area, but the female called to them and line astern they swam down the lake.
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