Saturday, 9 July 2011

An abundance of elephants

Elephant hawkmoths that is! When I got in this morning and moved the moth trap back into the shade there were several elephant and poplar hawkmoths sitting prominently at the top of the egg carton pile. When I checked through later on there were actually 7 elephants and 3 poplars - more than I have seen for a while. There wasn't a lot else, but a handful of old favourites like burnished brass, bufftips, scalloped oaks, double square spots and dark arches stood out along side a couple of "bird dropping mimic" type micromoths one of which was an attractive bird-cherry ermine.Unfortunately none of the photo's are great as our waterproof/shockproof digital camera turned out not to be Jim proof the other day and I was having to photograph without seeing what I was photographing - I managed to damage the LCD screen when the camera fell out of my pocket and was then promptly cycled over while I was supervising the traithletes car parking the other weekend!

Other than that there is not a great deal to report - it's been a nice day and the reserve relatively busy for the time of the year. I was teaching this afternoon - sweepnetting in the meadow again; always my favourite activity at this time of year and it was noticeable how the improved weather has increased the number of dragonflies flying, with a lot more damselflies in the vegetation and emperors and scarce chasers hawking around the reserve or over the pond.

There were also several butterflies on the wing today - not many individuals, but a number of different species including meadow brown, red admiral, large white, peacock, small skipper and, more notably, a silver-washed fritillary (as far as I know the first of the year, but certainly my first of the year!).

The better weather is also bringing the first of the fruit on in sunny sheltered spots:

They were delicious!

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