Saturday, 8 August 2015

Edstone (butterflies and cricket yet again)

Two things occurred to us on Friday morning: firstly, we had had a lovely day butterflying on Thursday and secondly we were moored in a beautiful peaceful location.  For these reasons we decided to go butterflying again and not worry about a planning session (we still don't know where we’re heading for when we set off on the boat again).

We read for a while in the morning then Karen packed a picnic and we set off for Oversley Wood which is managed by the Forestry Commission and where I suspected we would see some butterflies new to Karen.  Within a few minutes of arriving we came across the first – a lovely male Silver Washed Fritillary – one of my favourite butterflies.

The Silver Washed Fritillaries we saw during the day had all been around a while so were getting a bit old but you can just make out the silver washes on the underside here.

We then saw a tatty old Purple Hairstreak…

… followed by a Czech butterflier but unfortunately Karen’s picture of him didn’t come out.  It was strange talking with him as his English was good but he had no idea of the English names of the butterflies.  This was exacerbated by the fact that most English butterflies aren’t found in the Czech Republic and vice versa.   

We were in a different habitat to yesterday’s limestone downland as we were in good old oak woodland which is my favourite butterfly habitat.

Just to show we weren’t totally butterfly oriented here is a picture of a duck family that visited us when they heard me putting the kettle on in the morning.

I was really excited to see a White Letter Hairstreak – they suffered a great decline when their food plant, the Elm, was decimated by the Dutch Elm disease.
I was also excited when we saw a Small Copper as it was the first for a couple of years.

It was quite cloudy but on the occasions when the sun came out there were butterflies everywhere.  At one spot we saw eight freshly emerged Brimstones and at least a dozen freshly emerged Commas.  Not easy to make out here but here are the eight Brimstones in one shot.

This is a closer up shot of a male Brimstone:

This is the underside of a male Common Blue...

 ... quite different to the upperside:

Finally, this is a Peacock.

The remaining pictures have been added to the “Our Butterfly Pictures” tab on the blog.

In the evening we sat outside and once again reflected on yet another brilliant day.  There are 54 different butterflies that breed in England and we have seen 25 over the last couple of days (most of the remainder are on the wing at other times of the year):

  • ·        Speckled Wood
  • ·        Marbled White
  • ·        Meadow Brown
  • ·        Gatekeeper
  • ·        Ringlet
  • ·        Dark Green Fritillary
  • ·        Silver Washed Fritillary
  • ·        Red Admiral
  • ·        Painted Lady
  • ·        Small Tortoiseshell
  • ·        Peacock
  • ·        Comma
  • ·        Brown Argus
  • ·        Common Blue
  • ·        Chalkhill Blue
  • ·        Holly Blue
  • ·        Small Copper
  • ·        Purple Hairstreak
  • ·        White Letter Hairstreak
  • ·        Large White
  • ·        Small White
  • ·        Green Veined White
  • ·        Brimstone
  • ·        Small Skipper
  • ·        Essex Skipper

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