Another long walk today, again beginning at Tescos and entering the parish near Little Plantings Wood. Under the bridge and followed the footpath to Hadham Hall, the irrigation ponds and then back to Chapel Lane. New butterfly was recorded in the form of a small copper, shown below.
However, the main event was the huge invasion of painted lady butterflies that have migrated from the Atlas Mountains in North Africa. Reported numbers are beyond 10 million on the move! Today, I gave up counting after reaching 250, but estimate I saw over 1000 whilst out. They were everywhere! One shown below.
Other butterflies of note were:
orange tip 25+
large white 40+
small white 25+ including 1 tiny individual, presumed to be a male shown below. (plant petal is oil seed rape)
small copper 1
red admiral 1 (1st of the year)
small heath 2 (1st of the year)
common blue 5
Also, first silver y moths of the year. Up to 10 in one field near the A120. Again, shown below.
Azure damselflies were to be seen at the ponds behind Hadham Hall, with up to 50 present whilst I observed. One shown here.
Bird wise, quite quiet, with common buzzard, mallard, coot, grey heron, reed bunting and mistle thrush being added to the 36 species I recorded yesterday. A goldfinch posed on Hadham Hall roof and there were plenty of young coots, mallards and moorhens on the ponds.Whilst searching the vegetation for moths and butterflies I also managed to photo a green shield bug and a soldier beetle of the order canthabis rustica, a common predatory creature. Also shown here is a male scorpion fly. Although it looks like a stinger, it is quite harmless.
Run the cursor over the photos and click on them to enlarge and see the species name.