"For now we are young let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see" Neutral Milk Hotel.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Butterflies etc. at Ringstead Downs

The UKBMS butterfly transects began on 1st April and so as today was sunny and quite warm I walked my first transect of 2016 at Ringstead Downs.  Not many flowers out to provide food for the butterflies, except for the many plants of Ground-ivy Glechoma hederacea which suddenly seem to have covered the north bank of the valley.  It was among these that I came upon my first butterfly, a beautiful male Brimstone flying between the flowers (unfortunately I only managed to get a rather over-exposed, poorly focussed photo of it!)  Further east along the valley there were several Commas and Peacocks flying or soaking up the warmth of the sun. Altogether on the transect I recorded 1 Brimstone, 4 Peacocks and 5 Commas; not bad for the first week in April.  There were also several Buff-tailed and Red-tailed Bumblebees visiting the Ground-ivy and a few Bee-flies.
After finishing the transect I went to check whether the Gooseberry Ribes uva-crispa bushes at the top of the south bank had opened their flowers (there were a few) and also found a number of flowers on the European Larches Larix decidua.  The Gorse bushes were crawling with 7-spot ladybirds.
When I got back home there was a Small Tortoiseshell in my garden.

Brimstone on Ground-ivy





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