I was up early this morning to get the train and buses to the London Wetland Centre. Reports of Clouded Yellow butterflies have started emerging over the last week, the sightings have mainly been down south, but yesterday one was reported at the LWC. This is a butterfly I have never seen, let alone photographed.
Sadly I still haven't managed to photograph it, but I did get a brief glimpse of it fluttering by in front of one of the hides.
However my luck changed when Richard the Centre Manager, found a beautiful Jersey Tiger moth. This is day flying moth which I have never seen. So even though I dipped on the Clouded Yellow, I revelled in the glory of the Jersey Tiger.
There were other butterflies out and about after the dull wet morning. Some are looking fresh, others are well past their prime now. There are a lot of Tufted ducklings around, and some cygnets. I caught a brief glimpse of a juvenile Whitethroat by the Peacock Tower, and there are two more families of Little Grebes on site. Some Sand Martins are still around, and I spotted three Swift going over. Black-headed gulls are all over the islands, in various stages of plumage.
male Common Blue
a very tatty female Common Blue
juvenile Common Whitethroat
Great Crested Grebe
a very tatty Meadow Brown
Up by the Peacock Tower, I also found this lovely Red Underwing moth resting on one of the posts.
One of many cygnets around.
As soon as the sun did come out, so did some of the resident Common Lizards.
And last, but by no means least, I found this three wonderful dragonfly casings. When the dragonfly larva leaves the water (after spending up to a year, or even two, under water), it climbs up some vegetation, like a reed. The adult will burst through its larval skin head first, and pull the rest of its body out. It will then rest until its legs have hardened, and eventually once body fluids have been used to 'pump up' the wings, the adult dragonfly will take its maiden flight.
So not a bad day out. I would have been happy if I'd photographed the Clouded Yellow as well, but win some, lose some.