19 July 2013

Moor butterflies

Very quiet birdwise at the patch today. On Staines Moor; 2-3 Common Tern, 2 Little Egret and 1 Gadwall along the Colne, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Common Swift E, 6-7 Barn Swallow, 4 Green Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel, lots of Linnet and Goldfinch (including a juvenile), 2 Reed Bunting, a few Meadow Pipit, and a Skylark were about it. The moor is looking very dry after two weeks of high temperatures and no rain.

Large numbers of butterflies flying today in the hot weather. Common Ragwort Senecio jacobaea and several thistle species are flowering everywhere, providing an abundant food source. Gatekeepers Pyronia tithonus are now out in force and Meadow Browns Maniola jurtina and Small Skippers Thymelicus sylvestris must number in the hundreds. 1 Marbled White Melanargia galathea (a surprising a new addition to the fledgling Staines Moor butterfly list!), 1 Brown Argus Aricia agestis, 1 Painted Lady Vanessa cardui, 1+ Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas (watched laying eggs on grasses), several Small Tortoiseshells Aglais urticae, plenty of Small Whites Pieris rapae, and 1 Peacock Inachis io. Lots of Six-spot Burnets Zygaena filipendulae around and a single Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae (but lots of caterpillars on the Ragwort). Managed a few half reasonable photos despite the very bright conditions and the relentless bloody annoying wind.

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui

Brown Argus Aricia agestis

Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris

Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae

Impressive numbers of Banded Demoiselles Calopteryx splendens along the Colne today, and 1m Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens, several Emperor Dragonflies Anax imperator and a couple of Brown Hawkers Aeshna grandis. Also, thousands of Common Red Soldier Beetles Rhagonycha fulva everywhere.

On Stanwell Moor; 2f Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 juv. Robin, a few juv. Long-tailed Tits and Blue Tits, 2+ Comma Polygonia c-album, a Peacock and lots of Banded Demoiselles noted.

A very parched Staines Moor viewed from The Butts

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