Thursday, 16 April 2020

A Hunt for the Elusive Orange Tip

Today has been beautiful: sun and blue skies.  Although there has been quite a strong chill easterly breeze off the sea, it was beautifully warm in the shelter of hedge or wood.  My walk followed the usual route: across the Horsefield and over to the Dead Wood, but I extended it in to some previously unvisited spots on the way back, discovering new potential.  My main aim of today's walk was to search for orange tip butterflies.  I have been hearing loads of reports of them being seen, but so far they had eluded me.

Daily, now, it seems, new plants are appearing and things are greening up.  I found my first ladies smock, more hedge garlic, wild arum producing its green,ear-shaped flowers, bluebells and cow parsley beginning to show.  I was interested to see linnet, skylark and chiffchaff again and, particularly so, a small flock of jackdaws in with a murder of crows.  I was delighted with my first two swallows and pleased with the two commas I found, one possibly the same insect Ihad seen on 25th March as it was in exactly the same spot: basking on an old white plastic builder's container.  I thought that I had missed out on orange tip again, but on examining my images I think that what I had thought a small white, was, in fact a female orange tip.  I think that the black triangles of the rear edge of the forewing are diagnostic.

Oak and ash trees were now coming into leaf and flower and flowers are in bud on the hawthorn.  I was fascinated to find a born-tailed moth larval colony on a hawthorn on the Horsefied; I have only really noticed them on the coast before, usually on sea buckthorn.

  • House Sparrow
  • Blue Tit
  • Goldfinch
  • Dunnock
  • Chaffinch
  • Linnet
  • Crow
  • Magpie
  • Blackbird
  • Jackdaw
  • Robin
  • Chiffchaff
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Pheasant
  • Skylark
  • Yellowhammer
  • Swallow x2
  • Hedge Garlic
  • Red Campion
  • Wild Arum or Lords and Ladies
  • Cow Parsley
  • Bluebell
  • Ground Ivy
  • Ladies Smock or cuckoo pint
To view large, please click on an image.
Ash Flowers

Brown-tailed moth catterpillars



View to the deadwood past the ancient pear tree in blossom at Peake's Tunnel Farm

The Dead Wood is greening up.

The Dead Wood is greening up.

The Dead Wood is greening up.

Female orange tip (I think)

New oak leaves and flowers

Red Campion

Small Tortoiseshell

Speckled Wood

The Horsefield

Looking across edgeland to the cemetery and Horsefield beyond.

No comments:

Post a Comment