Friday, 25 July 2014

Week 27: Brimstone & Whistle-stop Summary


A scorcher of a week and with limited time and energy, it was a bit of a whirlwind tour of the lands yesterday. As the photograph above suggests, a Buddleja bush and a Brimestone butterfly were involved. My foray into wedding photography was brief and finite but seemed to go ok. That being said, give me wild creatures over civilised homo sapiens any day of the week.

Under clear skies and rising temperatures, I wandered over Bulbourne Moor and Hardings Moor, eventually making my way up to Roughdown Common. There are still a few damselflies on the river (Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Banded Demoiselle). The nettles on the riverbank east of Station Road are Camp Caterpillar. I couldn’t find anything more interesting than a glut of Small Tortoiseshells though.

The dell at Lower Roughdown had more spots than a Dalmatian, with Six-spot Burnets everywhere I looked, including a mating pair. A few tired Ringlets remain along with Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and fresh Peacocks.


Up on Further Roughdown, in addition to the species already mentioned, there were a few Marbled Whites and the second brood of Common Blues were zooming around, their speed seemingly proportional to the 30 degree heat. The wild Marjoram is in flower and the Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) were making the most of it, hard at work. Overhead, 3 Red Kites soared on the day’s thermals.

    Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)
    Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

I only managed a very brief visit to the Brickworks in the afternoon. The Buddleja at the north-east end of Baker’s Wood is worth a visit. I’ve never seen so many Peacock butterflies in one place (in addition to the Brimstone mentioned earlier). The fruit of the bramble bushes is beginning to ripen and, in the meadow with the mound, more spots. I lost count of the number of Six-spot Burnets.


Finally, to Dellfield and the oak. The Kestrel family are still using the trees in Ryders as a base. I spotted 2 birds hunting over the meadow and a Muntjac trotted up the central path to disappear from sight.


The lush green of the springtime meadow has given way to the parched grasses of the summer.

Left, 19 May 2014; Right 24 July 2014

4 comments:

Martin Parr said...

Glad the wedding went OK. No fritillaries seen on the buddlea then, pity, I was rather hoping for confirmation that there were some there. Not made it back over there yet and am babysitting this weekend, will try again next week.

Boxmoor, naturally... said...

Hi Martin, yes, I kept my eye out for fritillaries but didn't see any (yet). Peacocks aplenty, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Brimstone and Skipper sp were the main feeders when I was there. Commas were around the previous week too. Maybe next week :-). Good luck with the babysitting!

VELORAPTOR HemelBirding said...

I absolutely love the Brimstone on Buddleja photo Lucy, I'd love to see this in the Trust calendar next year. Closing date today - get it in quick! :)

Boxmoor, naturally... said...

Very kind of you, Dan, thanks :-)