Friday 30 September 2016

Bright & Beautiful.

With autumn here any nectar rich flowering plants in the garden are now attracting butterflies. Along with the reliable Red Admiral. I am still seeing the odd Speckled Wood,an occasional Painted Lady stopping off to feed on the buddleia,Large and Small Whites,and today this very colourful Small Copper.A very recent emergence by the look of it with bright markings. Individuals from later broods such as this tend to be often larger and brighter.This one also has a slight row blue dots on the hindwings of the form caeruleopunctata.   

Thursday 8 September 2016

Late Summer Colours.

Not too far from Wheelers Bay is Bonchurch Down, well known for its downland butterflies.This south facing Down has a good population of Adonis Blues and now the second brood of the year is on the wing.Many of the stunningly coloured males are now showing signs of wear but they are still strikingly impressive.
Among other butterflies seen on the Down yesterday are Common Blue,Brown Argus,Meadow Brown, and I am very glad to say,Small Copper.These quarrelsome and restless little butterflies have suffered a decline recently,perhaps due to poor summer weather,so it is good to encounter them now.


The Red Devil.

Red Valerian is known by numerous other names one of which is Devil's Beard.So on a long overdue visit ot Wheelers Bay yesterday it was a treat to see drifts of these red flowers along the banks and cliffs of the Bay.The flower is a magnet for butterflies and insects here, particularly as a nectar source for any new arrivals coming in off the sea.
Among the regular visitors to the Bay at this time of year is the Painted Lady ,which like Clouded Yellow, also seen at this time here too,are sometimes out  in good numbers.The latter in particular can be observed flying continuously up and down the revetement only occasionally stopping to nectar from the valerian.