Woodland Butterflies


Kicking off with the wood, we have constructed a cooking area by digging in some bricks in a starburst pattern. Unfortunately we were just one brick short:


We will put that right the next time we go.

The male and female Bullfinch are probably the most frequent visitors to the pond at the moment. They are there several times a day and what absolute beauties they are:



But that is not all. They are also now bringing three juveniles.  The young don’t have the black caps of their parents and therefore might have caused confusion had I not swotted up and been looking out for them:



Completely delighted that Bullfinch are successfully breeding in or near the wood.

We saw a White Admiral on the wood edges – a very noteworthy butterfly.


The larval food plant is wild Honeysuckle and we had stopped to smell some of that, currently out in flower, just before we saw the Butterfly.

But there is more – a Silver-washed Fritillary, basking in a sunny patch, flew away vigorously as we approached. I chased after it but only really managed to get a record shot this time:


But I will be back to try again, and this time with the right lens on the camera.

The larval food plant of this Butterfly are Violets, especially the Common Dog Violet, and there was a lot of that here earlier in the year.

Some others from the wood:

Female Meadow Brown.
Male Gatekeeper

We also saw Large Skippers, Large Whites, Red Admiral, Brimstone, and Commas.

This wasp nest, built into a burrow in the ground, has been dug out by Badgers:



Although we have heard Green Woodpecker many times whilst at the wood, this is the first time that we have seen one:

Trail camera

And a juvenile as well:

Trail camera

I love how Teasel flowers grow:



At the moment, the more mature part of the wood has masses of this Enchanter’s Nightshade growing as the main understorey plant. It is unrelated to other Nightshades and is completely harmless and it gives the wood an ethereal feeling with its tiny white flower heads floating above the greenery.

Circaea lutetiana. Enchanter's Nightshade.
Circaea lutetiana. Enchanter’s Nightshade.

Moving back to the meadows, there have been juvenile Green Woodpeckers here too. These two young birds had an escort of House Sparrows and occasional bombing by Blackbirds wherever they went.



They are both young females because their moustaches are dark with no hint of the red moustache that even a juvenile male would have:


Back in March, the strip was rotivated and it looked like this:


Nowadays, it looks like this:

Trail camera

What a difference a few months have made.

At the moment on the strip we seem to have more Foxes than birds coming to eat the food that we are putting down and we are hoping that this means that the wider countryside is amply providing for birds at this time of year. What this has resulted in, however, is that we have been getting some wonderful daytime Fox photos:







Trail camera

The camera looking down onto the Badger sett took this photo which made me smile:

Trail camera

And another camera had this:

Screenshot 2019-07-14 at 07.21.30

Last night at the peanuts there were up to six Foxes:

Trail camera

Trail camera

and four Badgers:

Trail camera

The peanuts don’t last long with this number of large visitors.

We pulled up a few reeds from the pond and in no time at all they have disappeared underground into the Badgers’ sett.

Screenshot 2019-07-16 at 13.19.09

Trail camera

And still the young Badgers play, watched over by a long-suffering mother:

Screenshot 2019-07-16 at 13.22.08

More breeding activity from the Woodpigeons:

Trail camera

Although, it this a Pigeon egg that the crow has?:

Trail camera

And also on Corvids, the Magpie family is still around:

Trail camera

This parasitic wasp below is Dusona falcator:


It is a parasite of Buff-Tip moth larvae. I had a Buff-Tip in the moth trap the other week and it looks like a Silver Birch twig:


This parasitic wasp picks up the caterpillars of this moth and carries them back to its nest where it lays an egg on it, I’m afraid. The life cycles of these parasitic wasps are not for the faint-hearted.

Here is another lovely moth that we found in the hedgerow, The Magpie:


The last photo for today is of the Patricia. She is a buoy-laying vessel and she often comes and puts down anchor overnight alongside these meadows. It feels like an old friend has to come to visit when she arrives.


I understand that she has some berths available for paying guests so that you can be aboard as she carries out her duties and then get off when she next puts into a port. Maybe one day…..

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