We also saw five-spot and six-spot burnet moths, which when in flight look fantastic. They look equally, if not more impressive when you see them feeding on the various purple flowers!
|Six-spot burnet sharing this one greater knapweed flower with a red-tailed bumble-bee|
Most of the pyramidal orchids had finished but in the shade of the hedgerow were a couple of fine specimens.
|Any ideas on this flower sp? I thought some type of vetch but no orangey ones in my book other than the yellowy-organe birds foot trefoil but don't think this is bft?|
|Moth experts - help....|
The marbled whites were so near the edge of the path that Caz's dad (Phil) and myself were ushered to the front of our single file path so that we could get some more shots of the very accommodating butterflies.
Amongst the brown coloured butterflies, we noticed a few darker brown ones... Ringlets! I had never seen them before so that was an unexpected delight. They rarely settle so when this beauty was spotted, Phil and I spent a little while trying to get a good photo. It had chosen a leaf to rest on that was far from easy to get a clear shot, so these are my best attempts!
We made our way back to the car and drove a little way to Queendown Warren which is another KWT site. It was quite hidden away so driver (Phil) and navigator (Caz's mum - Judith) did well! We arrived, walked along a little way and found a spot to have a cup of coffee from our flasks. Phil noticed a blue butterfly - possibly an adonis blue so we followed it for a bit, hoping it would settle but soon we lost sight of it and didn't see it again. I had to get home for work, so we made our way back to the car. One last six-spot burnet saw us off the premises. A wonderful walk catching up with one of my besties and scrabbling around trying to get photos of lovely insects with someone else!
Monday (22nd) brought another early morning and a few hours of volunteering. The Monday before saw me kicking myself for not taking my camera. Said kicking was because the emperors and the chasers were out in force. This didn't seem to matter though because I wasn't silly enough to leave my camera behind this time (with memory card inserted - another vital component which on several occasions I have left in my laptop). Once again the daddy of our UK dragons - the emperor dragonfly could be seen patrolling both of the year old ponds. Every now and again an imposter would swing by and there would be dragonfly equivalent of a punch up. I spent a while at lunch time trying (being the key word) to get some in flight shots of this impressive member of the Aeshnidae family of insects.
|My best attempt!|
Thankfully the male broad bodied chaser was also still around the area. It was continuing to use the sticks which Kevin placed at the edge of the ponds to perch on and warm up. I managed to get pretty darn close and could see its gorgeous blue body pulsate! The female popped to the pond occasionally but unfortunately wasn't laying eggs in her endearing manner, as she was last week.
After we had spent a few long hours pulling/scything dock and thistle and raking up the cuttings Kevin and I spent 15 minutes or so waiting for the emperor to take a well deserved rest. He did eventually and I was sat in the perfect position :)
This cheeky looking azure damselfly perched effortlessly on a blade of grass approximately 1 metre from me and I am quite pleased with this photo :)
I'll finish my post with a few photos of a rather dramatic sky from last Wednesday... Then I shall be nearly up to date :) Thanks to all you lot who keep reading even though I haven't got round to replying to comments and reading your blogs!