Thursday, 8 August 2013

The wrong coloured legs

Back yard mothing continues with the appearance of first for the year lesser yellow-, large yellow- and lesser broad bordered yellow underwings, along with Jersey tiger moths including a yellow form (lutescens).

 Jersey Tiger - form lutescens with yellow underwings
 Jersey Tiger - more usual red underwing form
 Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing
Marbled Green - a lovely moth

Reports of juvenile yellow legged gulls at Wembury had me heading out there for a walk on the 7th August in hot and sunny weather. A rosy footman was a nice find in the toilet block but it was the only moth present, pretty poor compared to the past 2 years sightings. Along the walk I also found 3 six spot burnets, 3 silver y's and a first for the year rush veneer.

Rush Veneer

I checked out the gulls at Wembury Point but could only find pink legged herring gulls, black headed gulls and great black backed gulls - but unfortunately no yellow legged gulls. I did find 2 common sandpipers, 8 dunlin (5 in SP), at least 2 whimbrel, at least 4 curlew, a grey heron, 2 little egret, 18 mallard (eclipse males and females) and oystercatchers amongst the rocks, while offshore gannets were passing by.

Butterflies were much in evidence again, so far it has been an excellent year for butterfly numbers despite the doom and gloom prophecising after the poor summer last year and cold and late spring this year - nature always bounces back - although I don't doubt that environmental and climatic pressures remain a concern. Common blue and large white were very noticeable with good numbers of red admiral, meadow brown, gatekeeper, small copper and peacock also seen. 2 painted lady, a green veined white, small white, a small skipper, 3 wall, 2 small tortoiseshell and 3 speckled wood were also noted.

Wall - beautiful patterned underwings

Basking Painted Lady

After enjoying a coffee and pasty I had a look for clouded yellows in the valley leading to the beach on the walk back to the bus stop but I drew a blank. However I had a brief sighting of a dark green fritillary flying amongst the grasses before disappearing from sight, probably a female looking for violets to lay eggs on and a very unexpected sight. An even more unexpected sight was a dingy skipper which landed briefly on a bindweed flower before dashing off, another new butterfly for Wembury and bringing the days total to 16 species of butterfly.

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