Nottinghamshire Flutterings 26/07/2017 – DGF
Richard Penson has seen our first (and only, so far) Dark Green Fritillary at Annesley Pit on 14th July.
Richard visited Annesley Pit area on 14th July and was “was pleasantly surprised by the butterflies I found. The slope leading up to the Lower Lake was especially productive, the highlight being a single dark-green fritillary but also marbled white, meadow browns, Essex skippers, small skipper, common blue, ringlets, gatekeepers, large skipper, red admirals, small tortoiseshell, large whites, green-veined white and small whites.”
Three days later, on the 17th, Richard visited Cotgrave Forest “It was another revelation! 2 female purple emperors, both egg-laying in tall sallow bushes about 100 yards apart, 9 purple hairstreaks, 30+ commas, 20+ red admirals, 30+ green-veined whites, 2 silver-washed fritillaries (male and female but not together), 5 ringlets, 40+ meadow browns, 2 large skippers, 1 small skipper. Rather surprisingly not a single speckled wood – maybe between broods. The commas and admirals were attracted to dog and horse faeces, to the extent where they were obscured by butterflies – the female purple emperors had totally ignored them as also had a few males that had been seen earlier in the day by other observers I talked to.”
Richard continues “Our own mini Fermyn Woods! Alas without the white admirals, I couldn’t find a single scrap of honeysuckle. I have some observations on the two purple emperors (empresses) who seemed to alternate imbibing mineral salts between bouts of egg laying which I will write for the Autumn newsletter. This is alluded to in the book Notes and Views on the Purple Emperor as an interesting “aside” but without any in-depth discussion.”
Toni Lachetta comments on last week at Sandy Banks in Bestwood “As I predicted gatekeepers are doing well. What I did not expect was the number of common blues and small coppers that would appear this year. Up to now they have never been many sighting of them.”
Phil Lee noted yesterday “2 Silver-washed Fritillary in Eaton Wood near Retford one of which was of the form Valezina, the first one we have come across. It was too quick for us to get a photo.”
Also yesterday Brian Johnson had this to tell us “This afternoon (25 July) the sun came out so I went down to Cotgrave Wood for a couple of hours to see what was flying. PHS (7) were seen high in the oak and ash trees. WLH (4) were nectaring on brambles, all showing signs of year and tear (see attached photos) as their season is nearing the end. No signs of PE’s or SWF’s. Gatekeepers (19) being the highest count of the 13 species recorded during the visit.”
Across in Derbyshire at the Hoe Grange Quarry reserve opening on Sunday 23rd, Ken Orpe reports in his most informative Derbyshire Update that an amazing 19 butterfly species were noted: Small Skipper; Essex Skipper; Large Skipper; Large White; Small White; Green Veined White; Small Copper; Brown Argus (PDR); Common Blue; Red Admiral; Painted Lady; Small Tortoiseshell; Peacock; Comma; Dark Green Fritillary; Gatekeeper; Meadow Brown; Ringlet; Small Heath. Impressed or what?