12th July 2017

July 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Take it away skipper!

1: North Cave

Nothing much about bird-wise within reasonable distance, Barry and I decided to go to North Cave. I immediately thought butterflies and dragons! 

Here's some of what we saw.

A gatekeeper was my first photo of the day: those white spots are diagnostic even though it refused to spread its wings for me. Here's another one that was a bit more showy. The dark patches on the forewing are the male sex brand. For reasons unknown I'm always fascinated by skippers. Perhaps it's the fun of trying to differentiate the Small from the Essex, if you know what I mean. Three Smalls below.

This is large skipper as far as I can tell. Meadow brown females are more colourful than the males. Damselflies are another id puzzle sometimes. This is common blue damselfly.

Four spot chaser dragonfly. Finally from North Cave, here's an empress [emperor dragonfly] ovipositing. She's laying eggs too!!

We spent a long time at North Cave so decided to finish the day at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT - a great place for butterflies.

2: Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

As we left the car park to walk the 350 yards to the reserve we saw a marbled white straightaway.

Nice little game to play with these photos. Apart from the obvious main character, in most pictures you can find other insects. Can you spot them all? For example there are little black beetles in the knapweed along with the butterfly.

More marbled whites [and friends].

Commas. Punctuation mark showing well!

Rather worn common blue. Meadow brown and six-spot burnet moths.

The hover-fly is episyrphus balteatus but has no common name.

More six-spots.

Pyramidal orchid with another tiny beetle.

Close-up. Time for the skippers. They are all small or large skippers - so no Essex skippers found today. This is a large skipper- note the wing patterning.

Back to small skippers. The diagonal black line on the lower butterfly is its sex brand - showing it to be a male.

Finally a ringlet and a gatekeeper feeding on origanum.



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