Saturday, May 19, 2012

SUN!!! :-) :-) :-)

I'm the eternal optimist, but even I've begun to get a bit frustrated with days of constant rain, complaining that we've been lured to the Isle of Wight under false pretenses. Is this really the sunniest place in the UK??!! So, I was really excited when the sun shone this morning and took the opportunity to slowly wander westwards along the path from the High Down car park.

I was watching a young rabbit exploring the scrub at my feet and decided to get a bit of video footage. As I pulled the camera from my pocket a Stoat suddenly leapt onto the back of the rabbit.

You can't see much in this sequence as the Stoat pulls the young kit away, but you can hear the distressing squeals of the Rabbit. Distressing though it is, it's a sound worth learning because it will reveal Stoats at their bloody work when you're out walking in the countryside, just about anywhere where there are Rabbits!

It was good to catch up with some of the early Skipper species of butterfly. This is a Dingy Skipper - there were also several Grizzled Skippers on the wing, and a single Small Copper. The only other species seen this morning was a number of male Orange-tips....unless it was the same male patrolling up and down the path!

 Happening across a number of flowering Early Purple Orchids was a pleasant surprise because I'm so used to seeing them in the middle of woods. But my Orchid guide confirms that they can thrive on calcareous grassland, too!

These flowers confused me, though. I assume they're some form of Aquilegia? There were quite a few beside the path.

Finally, can anyone help me with the identification of these beetles?

These beautiful irridescent green Beetles were quite common in the Buttercup heads.

I'm guessing this next one will be more of a challenge. I found it in the net after extracting a Hoverfly. It's only a few mm long. The abdomen is an irridescent green/black colour and it has that obvious orange-red band around the base.


  1. Steve,

    I found a metallic green beetle similar to yours, also in a buttercup, at Yaverland a couple of years back and it turned out to be Cryptocephalus aureolus.

    Might be something completely different, though - there are so many beetles!

  2. If you scroll about halfway down this page you will find hundreds of beetles, it is a marvellous site and not only for beetles.

  3. Thanks to you both. David Element's pages are a great resource. I'm confident that it's a Cryptocephalus species, Rob, but there seem to be several green species that are superficially similar. I've just put it on iSpot - my first contribution! - and I'm hoping that someone will be able to confirm exactly what it is, or give me pointers so that I can return and have a closer look!