Monday, July 20, 2015

Butterflies

You may have noticed the odd butterfly creeping into the previous blog posts.  Well they do say that learning new things is the best way of avoiding dementia, so we've decided to immerse ourselves more fully in the world around us and to try and identify pretty much everything we see from birds to bees and butterflies, dragonflies, trees and flowers.

We've also joined Cornwall Butterfly Conservation and the Red River Rescuers, to help in habitat preservation and restoration work here in Cornwall.

The following post therefore summarises our emerging interest in butterflies and the majority of the UK species that we have seen thus far, that is to mid-July, just ahead of the next sequence of species emergences, which we're looking forward to.

At the smaller end of the spectrum is the Small Copper:



Also at the smaller end are the skippers, and there's not much to tell between them other than wing markings (i'm sure there's more but we're really at the start of the leaning process).

The first of the skippers then is the Small Skipper:


This is an Essex Skipper from a trip to The Lodge (RSPB HQ) in Sandy:


A Large Skipper:


The brown group of insects has some unusally named species (in my opinion), including the Gatekeeper:



A brief interlude from the 'browns' the next two species are associated with vegetable patch devastation but are also quite common in the wild too, namely the Large White:


And a Small White:


This is our most recent sighting in terms of species, a Brown Argus, confusingly similar to a (brown morph) female Common Blue:


The next species is a Ringlet:



Speckled Wood:



The group i find most confusing so far are the 'blues'.  This is a scruffy looking male Common Blue:


And this a female common blue, of the blue morph variety:


As is this:


This one is a Holly Blue, underside and wingtop:




Whereas this one is a Silver-studded Blue, both rare and completely dependent on ants for part of its life-cycle:


We've not yet seem many fritillaries, with the exception of the Comma:


 

So called because of the little white comma you can see on this underwing:


A more well known species is the Small Tortoiseshell:


And a familiar migrant is the Painted Lady: 




We've many more species to see and hopefully will add another couple from the target species in the up-and-coming butterfly survey we've agreed to do that starts with the briefing tomorrow!

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