Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Therfield Heath again

A gap between appointments in Hertford ... so Therfield Heath again.

I'd not seen Chalkhill Blues before. What a butterfly! Some of them have the most intense azure next to the body, but the rest of them are beautiful sculptures of pale blue with brown surrounds. There were quite a few too by the path from the car park across the road and up to the mounds. I would estimate 50-100.

Also Dark Green Fritillary. I got my first decent view, and very nice it is too. Almost a black-and-white effect on the wing edges. There has been a record reported from Hatfield Forest so I need to do some careful studying here.

Otherwise, a Knapweed Broomrape (no photo) and a Skylark.

Friday, July 06, 2018

In Search of His Majesty

Purple Emperors are doing well all over, and our local stronghold Hatfield Forest has had up to 9 seen there. I've been there on a few occasions to see them and so far ... nothing.

It may be that I've been there mid morning and its been too hot, or it may be that I'm just not very good at finding butterflies that fly round the top of tall trees.

I met a helpful chap who told me where to find them in an Oak along the main plain, and that there are White-Letter Hairstreaks in Elms along the edge of the plain. Needless to say I didn't see them either.

Despite this, I'm quite enjoying the cool of some of the rides, and there are tens, possibly hundreds of Silver Washed Fritillaries. Here's a few photos of some other insects.

female SWF. Noticeably smaller than the males.
Purple Hairstreak - common round oaks. This was the closest I could get.
 Ringlet, Meadow Brown, a few Marbled Whites and various other whites and skippers.

There were a few dragonflies too. Brown Hawkers and the usual small blue damselfly things, and these.

Southern Hawker in one of the more shaded rides 
a skimmer? not near water so a bit confused on this one.
I refound the colony of White-Legged Damselflies pretty much in the same place I last had them. Noticeably paler, seemingly slightly slower in flight and a tad longer than the more common damselflies.

Rarity chasing in Cambridgeshire part 2.

Last post left you on the edge of your seats as your intrepid birders ticked off the first of three potential rarities and headed off in sea...