Saturday, 12 June 2021

Prees Heath - Emperor Dragonfly

I'm currently on 15 species of Odonata for the year in Shropshire and I wasn't expecting to add to that whilst looking for Butterflies! That is until an Emperor Dragonfly turned up whilst phographing Silver-studded Blues! A check of the the nearby pool and another one from the footpath gave a tally of seven on the wing here!

I never saw a single one land either!

They were too busy chasing each other off from where they had staked a territory!

Come to think about it, they were too bust chasing, I didn't see thewm eat much prey either!

So long...

Prees Heath - Silver studded Blue

It's been ten years since I put in an appearance at Prees Heath for the Silver-studded Blue Butterflies! Too long as they made a perfect morning weather-wise even more special!

I'd missed the main emergence but there was one male sat on a bramble, letting the final fold in the wing unwrap!

Ladies first for the blog but in reality this was one of the last ones to be found!

Feeding almost exclusively on Birds-foot Trefoil

Then sat on a leaf whilst the heat was building up around midday! Despite the presence of nearby males, not a single one tried his luck!

A few more pics of some males, I took loads and couldn't bear to delete many of them :-)

The mandatory closed wing shot so the granular studs can be enjoyed!

Then wings open for sheer delight!

Arty views whilst perched on a stick!

Then back to the first shots of the day, a supremely fresh male!

Maybe I should make an annual event of this rather than celebrating decades?

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Wyre Forest - Pearl bordered Fritillary and other insects

 Another Lepidoptera mission with Dave Chapman - this time to the Wyre Forest and a bit of catch up on the butterflies for me! First up for me however was a Woodland Dor Beetle(Anoplotrupes stercorosus) scuttling across the path!

Incredible violet iridescence to the underparts!

The marmalade fly (Episyrphus balteatus) seen here in flight is usually everywhere by now but it's looking like a bad year for Hoverflies!

Plus a pristine female Broad-bodied Chaser sunning herself!

My catch up was with Pearl-bordered Fritillary and I was quite surprised to see some really fresh ones!

Time for a better background than the path!

And a series concentrating on the underside of the  hindwing...

The 'pearls' running along the hindwing edged in red.

Thank goodness you can decipher the cryptic patterning of these next two shots - Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. The dark markings at the top edge of the forwing are joined together. 

Looks like I need another trip to check out the underside pattern once more :-)