Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Hairy Dragonfly

Life gets busier. Birds, butterflies, and now dragonflies as well, all to keep me occupied and away from the dreaded DIY. Its just as well that I am not into orchids or counting Poms on the seafront.

Both dragonflies shown here were found whilst out chasing birds and butterflies. They are two of the early fliers and as with all dragonflies they are such stunning insects that it is impossible to walk past without taking a picture. The first, a Hairy Dragonfly was on Kithurst Meadow where we were searching for the Duke of Burgundy butterfly. The Large Red was at Pulborough Brooks.

Hairy Dragonfly

Hairy Dragonfly

Large Red Dragonfly

We did find Dukes at Kithurst. Five possibly six, not as big a colony as in my earlier blog on Heyshott but good to see them closer to home

Duke of Burgundy

We also found a large colony of Green Hairsteaks further along the downs towards Chantry Hill. I would estimate forty to fifty seen both as singles and roosting in groups of up to a dozen. Quite an amazing sight, especially after having spent a couple of hours finding a single specimen at Mill Hill NR.

Green Hairstreak

There have been plenty of other butterflies on the wing. A quick walk around Houghton Forest gave me Brimstones, Orange Tips, and Green-veined Whites. I tracked the Brimstones and Orange Tips for ages in an attempt to find them perched out in the open. When I finally caught up with a Brimstone I found it had a damaged wing. The Orange Tip was even harder, I could not get anywhere near them. I think a few early morning visits are called for, to catch them whilst they are still roosting.

Brimstone - pity about the damaged wing

Orange Tip

Green-veined White

Can't wait to get out again but it looks like wind and rain through to the end of the weekend. Picture opportunities will be limited.

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