Sunday, 21 July 2013

Summer meets autumn coming back

High summer means butterflies and there has been a wide selection on view at Butterfly Conservation's Alners Gorse reserve in North Dorset recently. The smartest of these was undoubtedly:
Silver-washed Fritillary - female of the rare form valezina
Valezina underside
About 15% of females are said to be of this form. Compare to...
...a regular female Silver-washed Fritillary...
..and a male of the same species...

...males being identified by the parallel black bars on the forewing 

Silver-washed Fritillary underwing

Silver-washed Fritillary with Meadow Brown for size comparison

Purple Hairstreak - these can be seen flying around the tops of oaks usually, but occasionally they will come down to a lower perch.

Another Purple Hairstreak - this one on the favoured oak

The rarer Hairstreak - White-letter - wouldn't play ball on a morning visit on Saturday - this shot of one high in the canopy was taken on a late evening visit earlier in the week.
White Admiral - there were a few around but this one was the only one to land, and then only briefly.

Ringlet - one of the most attractive of the 'brown' family.

Commoner species included: Comma...

...Gatekeeper - this one a female...
...Gatekeeper - a male...

...and Meadow Brown.
Also on the wing at Alners Gorse was the Beautiful Demoiselle

The same individual but with the light behind me this time.

High summer also means the start of return wader passage - the rarest so far in Dorset has been a White-rumped Sandpiper which spent a few days at Lodmoor in Weymouth last week and stayed until Saturday:
White-rumped Sandpiper (left) sadly not quite as in focus as the Dunlin

An adult bird

Another imperfect flight shot - this time into the light, but clearly showing the white rump
Another comparison with Dunlin

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