Saturday, 8 July 2017

A great butterfly transect and more at Cranford Park today

The bramble bushes are losing their flowers now....
so a lot of the butterflies on this mornings transect were instead feeding on the buddleia and thistles with the exception of the meadow grasses loving brown butterflies.....
I had a fantastic 85 minute butterfly walk for the UKBMS transect, with my highest total so far this year.......a whooping 223 butterflies, yes 223 !!!
 That's more than double the amount seen on last Saturdays transect. 
Todays tally....
223 butterflies / 10 species
Small Skipper x 41
Large Skipper x 2
Green-veined White x 22
Small Copper x 2
Red Admiral x 3
Comma x 15
Speckled Wood x 15
Gatekeeper x 55
Meadow Brown x 67
Ringlet x 1
and here are photos of some of the beauties seen today.....

Large Skipper - underwing

tatty worn Ringlet

male Green-veined White


mating Gatekeepers

male Small Skipper

Small Copper

mating Small Skippers

Red Admiral
As you can see from some of the photos above, it is now time for some species to mate. I watched these two Green-veined Whites below. The female is on the leaf and the male was attempting to mate with her. She kept flicking up her abdomen. This was basically telling the male 'not tonight thanks'....

I also found some caterpillars, these below are the larvae of the Small Tortoiseshell....

The meadows were alive with not only butterflies, but hundreds of Soldier Beetles, crickets and grasshoppers and this fresh looking Black and Yellow Longhorn beetle....

I had absolutely no luck looking for the Little Owls again today, but according to Martyn there were four photographers checking the nest tree this morning before I arrived. I wonder if they were successful ?
I did see three Common Buzzards and a Red Kite soaring over. And of course I spent some time in the meadows watching our new Kestrel family. I still think there are four fledglings. They weren't flying around too much today, more time was spent sitting on the tree guards or the scrubby bushes....

Spot the Kestrel......
 The Cinnabar caterpillars are bigger and fatter now, and it wont be long before they drop off the ragwort, bury under the soil, pupate and spend the winter there....
Next Saturday, the 15th of July, I will be leading a guided butterfly walk through part of the park.
 It will be about 90 minutes long with refreshments available in St Dunstans church afterwards.
Meet at 11am by the Information Centre.
Maybe I'll see some of you there.

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