Friday, 30 August 2019

Todays butterfly count at Cranford CP

I've had a difficult few weeks so haven't been out much but today I took myself off to Cranford Park for the UKBMS butterfly count. 

Considering the weather was cooler than recently, it wasn't a bad show today. 

During my 70 minute transect I counted 58 butterflies of 11 species...
Large White x 10
Small White x 14
Green-veined White x 1
Holly Blue x 4
Red Admiral x 7
Painted Lady x 3
Comma x 1
Speckled Wood x 10
Gatekeeper x 2
Meadow Brown x 5
Small Heath x 1

The Painted Ladies were a nice surprise. These will probably be the generation from the first migrant PLs seen in late spring. In a few weeks time these new generation butterflies will probably attempt the migration to north Africa, although it is hard to say how many will survive that journey. Any eggs laid by the new generation in Britain will not survive the winter. 

Small White

Large White

Red Admiral

Meadow Brown

Painted Lady


Comma - underwing

tatty Comma
After I completed my count I found more Commas. As you can see in the photos above, some were very fresh and new looking whereas others were very tatty. 

I wasn't at the park long today, but it was nice to also see my favourite hoverfly whilst there - Volucella Zonaria. This is the largest British hoverfly measuring up to 2.5cm long. It is a often described as the Hornet Mimic Hoverfly, the disguise helps ward off predators. If you go along the M4 wall towards the apple orchard from the back of the stable block, there are several wild growing buddleja and they are covered with these stunning hoverflies. 

Volucella zonaria

Volucella zonaria

Volucella zonaria

Volucella zonaria
Hopefully next week I can manage a longer visit. I had a fleeting glimpse of one of the Kingfishers this afternoon, and there was a juvenile Green Woodpecker by the cattle paddock. The usual Buzzards and Red Kites were seen soaring the thermals overhead. 

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