Monday 24 September 2012

Wings, but no birds

Birds eschewed my local gravel pits at Swineham this weekend for the east coast, judging by reports from afar. But I still managed two patch ticks from the world of lepidoptera in the form of a Hummingbird Hawkmoth, feeding manically on honeysuckle in a hedgerow, and a Clouded Yellow butterfly, looking a bit out of place cruising the gardens of suburban Wareham.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Swineham 22nd September 2012

A few years ago Hummingbird Hawks seemed to be everywhere - we even had one in our garden in Kent - but I certainly haven't seen as many of them in the last couple of years. Similarly with Clouded Yellows - I usually manage to see one or two most years but seem to have found it a bit harder in the last couple. A good excuse, then, to dig out one of my favourite Clouded Yellow pictures - taken on St Mary's in October 2006.

Clouded Yellow, St Mary's, October 2006

October 2006 was a classic for butterflies on Scilly, with a Monarch, a couple of Long-tailed Blues, a Queen of Spain Fritillary and an invasion of Clouded Yellows including a few of the rare helice form. Although I dipped the Queen of Spain, the highlight for me came on the 9th when I found my own Long-tailed Blue - a near perfect specimen - and an hour or two later caught up with my first Monarch feeding on ivy on the Garrison. Happy days...

Self-found Long-tailed Blue, St Mary's, 9th October 2006

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