Taunton, Somerset, Sunday 17th July 2011
With the Big Butterfly Count starting this Weekend, the British Summer turned sour with most of the UK looking more like Autumn than Summer.
I managed to get out in the afternoon to try and find Some Butterflies and get my count up and running. The patch I chose was an area near Frieze Hill and Roughmoor close to the river in Taunton. The wind seemed stronger than even yesterday.
At first there were no Butterflies to be seen, and I did not blame them for not putting on a show..but then as I got closer to Roughmoor I found a sheltered spot and struck gold.. (Click on photo's for larger image).
While looking for other insects I found this Red Admiral that had died and a spider was alread at work turning into Sunday lunch..I beleived it to be a Crab Spider later at home seaching through my field books it was itentified as Misumena vatia.
I was really pleased to spot this Beautiful Demoiselle in flight, and followed until it it came to rest and managed to get some really good shots.
During the count I maanged to spot 2 Large White Butterflies, including this one feeding, I always find the White Butterflies harder to photograph as they fly off as you get close. Today I just got lucky.
Another insect find was this Grasshopper Pezotettix gionai (below). Apprantly they are quite silent unlike most of our Grasshopper and Crickets.
The sun did make a brief appearance and it warmed up, pleasing the Butterflies no end. One funny note while trying see and photograph a Butterfly I slipped down the bank and split my trouser's so I had to be very careful for the rest of the afternoon bearing in mind were the split was...
This Gatekeeper made a stop to feed and is one of my favourite British Butterflies they look so dainty in flight.
Ok, I cannot resist posting another shot of a Common Blue, as it warmed up there were plenty on the wing.
This speckled Wood was sun bathing...even if the sun had disapeared again, the ground tends to hold the heat and Butterflies can gain heat direct from the soil.
On my retun walk, I encountered this mating pair of Common Blues and managed to get some superb shots, this is just one..
My Butterflycount for the afternoon:
Large White: 2
Small White: 5
Common Blue: 6
Holly Blue: 1
Speckled Wood: 5
The counts were later submitted to the 'Big Butterfly Count Website'.