Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Butterflies

A few days ago, I discovered the Quarry Carpark at Afton Down. It's only a small carpark just off the Military Road by Compton Bay, but the south-facing rear bank is a real hotspot (literally) for butterflies. Even though it was relatively cool, I managed to catch up with Wall, Green Hairstreak, Small Blue, Small Copper, Dingy & Grizzled Skipper. Here's a few of them:

The Small Blues here were first recorded by Peter Hunt on 30th March, a ridiculously early date!

I've got a few caterpillars that I haven't had time to id for the lepidopterists who look in on this site.

This beauty was on a plant halfway up the quarry face.

In fact, it's so beautiful that I couldn't resist sharing a bit of video, too! :-)

Thanks to Elaine who has suggested that this is a Garden Tiger caterpillar. That looks good to me having looked it up on the internet. These are a species of the furry caterpillars beloved to Cuckoos, the decline of which has been posited as one possible reason for the drastic decline in our Cuckoo population.

And these caterpillars were just down the road. Any identifications gratefully appreciated.

Thanks to Ben for identifying these as Brown Tail moth larvae. These are the dreaded species that leave irritant hairs on the skin of those unfortunate enough to brush against them or pick them up, causing painful rashes for many. They also pretty much defoliate the shrubs where they are found so they're not popular with gardeners who will dress up in wellies, rubber gloves and anything else to hand and blast them with potent chemical sprays!

I also came across a Common Lizard, and this Adder which looks pretty scarey, trying to warm up in the cool breeze!

1 comment:

  1. What a lot of butterflies! Some of them I didn't recognise.