Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tree Bees and Fritillaries

I didn't know being ill could be so good! after spending yesterday afternoon and evening and early morning today coughing, sneezing and with a nose that resembled Niagara Falls, I decided to take the day off. With the weather being so nice I decided to try an early season Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey, if only to get me outdoors and get over this Cold.

On the walk out I finally caught up with Tree Bumblebee, with one, possibly two, seen near the start of Edwardsville Woods. and now I have my eye in on the species, I found around half a dozen more at two other sites.

On the walk out, butterflies had been quite conspicuous by there absence with only a couple of Large Skippers (new for the year), Speckled Woods, and single Green-veined and Large Whites being seen.

The Survey transect started off just as quiet with only a couple of Silver Y's being recorded. Just before finishing the first section of the transect, a large butterfly took off from the path in front of me and flew strongly off. The quick look at suggested a large fritilary, but as I'd never recorded any frot's in that area I just presumed it would have been a Comma!
Into the next section and a couple of Small Heaths put in brief appearances before another large orange butterfly took off from the path in front of me. This time it landed further along the path and I was able to approach and get my bin's onto it. It was no Comma but rather a large fritillary, probably Dark Green - Wow, I wasn't expecting that, and it convinced me that the earlier butterfly was almost certainly of this species.
If that wasn't enough, a third flew right past me just as I finished the third section, with two more flying past during the 4th section - 5 Dark Green Fritillaries!
The second half of the transect proved to be butterfly less - not even a White or Speckled Wood - but did produce a Golden-ringed Dragonfly, 3 Common Blue Damselfly's and a dozen or so Large Red Damselfly's.
Other notable sightings included my first Green Carpet of the year, Violet Ground Beetle, several Green Tiger Beetles and a Cuckoo calling from the Letty Turner area around midday.


  1. good stuff martin .I had a male brimstone today butterfly and my third ruby tailed wasp of the week.If you get a chance have a look at one line. It,s a cracker.

  2. They are right crackers, I had one a couple of years back on the kitchen wall.

  3. It,s like the northern carmine bee eater of the wasp world.