|Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) |
in my garden for the first time.
|This Essex Skipper came on my finger! The main difference between Small and Essex Skippers |
is the black on the tip of the underneath of the antennae, which is red on the Small Skipper.
The same thing happened this year as last; two gorgeous little Lulworth Skippers appeared and spent about a week here, mostly feeding on lavender. And then they were gone.
|Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon), female. |
These are smaller than Essex Skippers, which in turn are smaller than Small Skippers!
|Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon), male. Not so easy to ID but I can just make out |
a faint trace of the markings which are more prominent on the female.
|Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) showing the sex brands |
which is often the way to differentiate between the sexes.
|2nd generation Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), female. |
I haven't seen a blue in the garden since then and
this is the only blue I've seen at home so far this year!
|Another Map butterfly and in the middle, a Gatekeeper in the background. Marjoram and |
Garlic Chives are great plants for butterflies (and other nectar lovers).
|Gatekeepers (Pyronia tithonus) are abundant |
and here are four on a Marjoram.
|Was really pleased to find a pair mating as previously I've only ever seen Small Whites doing it.|
|These Gatekeepers didn't like the camera too close so moved to |
another leaf and covered their modesty!
|Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), male - many are out and about again now and unlike the |
spring butterflies which have overwintered as adults, these ones actually stop to feed often.
|So happy to see the gorgeous Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia)! |
This is a male looking a little tatty.
|And here is a perfect looking female Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia).|
Onto some moths now and I'm just sharing a few of the more colourful or large ones (that I was able to ID).
|Sulphur Knapweed moth (Agapeta zoegana) which I found on |
my shoelace as I was changing shoes to go outside!
There's a story here and I'll try to be brief! This moth flew into the cellier/mud room one night and buzzed around like a lunatic so there was no way to catch it to put it outside. The next evening though, it was sitting playing dead on the floor. I took some photos and then it woke up .... and started buzzing around like a loony again! A couple of days later one of the cats was putting his paw in a cardboard box with jam jars in, and sure enough there was the moth. I was sure it must be dead by then and it certainly looked dead. I went to dispose of it outside but all of a sudden it started vibrating in my hand, flapping its wings really fast. Luckily it was dusk and I was outside at this point so was able to watch it fly off strongly, none the worse for having spent about three days indoors.
|Oak Eggar (Lasiocampa quercus), female.|
And another story - I went for a walk through the hamlet with my brother and I noticed this large brown 'butterfly' flying down the lane; it seemed to be following us as I also saw it when we went off down a track. It puzzled me and every day after that I would see it in my garden. Flying fast and strong, all I could make out was a chestnut brown colour with a paler marking near the edge of the wings. This went on for about a week and was driving me potty as I couldn't find a butterfly that looked anything like that. Until thankfully it dived into some vegetation, I crept up on it and discovered it was a large moth! The males of this species do fly during the day.
|Oak Eggar (Lasiocampa quercus), male. |
Look at those groovy antennae which the females don't have.
Finally, I have to share despite the photos being poor quality as they were taken at 9pm and through double glazing. The evening before, I'd walked into the veg patch and a large bird with barred markings flew out. I came in and looked in my bird book because I could only think cuckoo or sparrowhawk. Then my OH mentioned that he thought he'd seen a cuckoo the evening before. Well this for sure was a cuckoo, a juvenile sporting the red form of colouring. After this, it hung around for about 5 days before flying off. I'm not sure if they leave for Africa whilst still juveniles, or grow up a bit more before departing. Whatever they do, they go alone as the parents are long gone!
|Cuckoo! (Cuculus canorus). |
This is the rufous colour morph which occurs more commonly in juveniles than in females.
I've only ever seen an adult Common Cuckoo once and in the distance; however we were very lucky to watch several juvenile Great Spotted Cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) close up in Spain.
P.S. I forgot to mention, most of my Cinnabar Moth larvae disappeared after I'd seen the Cuckoo in the veg patch, because they are one of the few birds who can eat hairy and/or poisonous caterpillars....... :-)