It is hard to believe that August is here already, probably even harder to believe that today the temperature was up to 34o the hottest day of the year. We set off in the late afternoon, to walk through the woods, almost immediately we noticed that there were many white butterflies almost everywhere you looked, the sun seemingly having brought them out.
Looking down Brislands now you can see it is full summer. The trees are heavy with leaves, and very soon they will start to look tired.
We walked along Brislands, and stopped to watch all three white butterfly species dancing around the bramble flowers and duelling above the nettles. These two Large Whites were quite happy to share the flowers on this bramble.
We walked into the wood at the Brislands entrance, the path is very overgrown, with nettles lying in wait to sting bare legs. There were whites everywhere, but if you stopped and waited then something brighter, like this Peacock would appear
The Meadow Browns were not to be out done by the whites, and they could also be seen on the bramble flowers
The recent rain had filled up the muddy areas once again, and for once I came across a group of Small Whites all either drinking or taking salts in the mud.
The orange butterflies were about again, but they were all Commas, there were four in the area, and they would sit on the leaves in the sun. This one though appeared to be hiding, but was quite involved in taking nectar from the flower.
Brimstones have been about for the last couple of weeks, mostly adults like this one. I love the shape of the wings, which mimic the leaves, and in certain light they appear a light green, rather than the yellow you normally associate with the butterfly
There were two Red Admirals by the large Beech tree, I spotted this one as it sat with its wings flat on the leaves. It was probably getting the remaining warmth from the leaves. Just after I took this another flew over, and they were off duelling up into the tree canopy
We left the wood, pausing to watch the usual Gatekeepers by the footpath entrance. We walked around the pond, and made our way to the sunny area by the pier. I didn’t notice at first, and thought the splashing was the carp as they breached the surface. As I looked closer I saw this Moorhen trying to cover itself with pond weed.
I can only assume that because I was standing in the place where normally it would dash into the undergrowth it was trying to hide from me on the water, bizarre behaviour I have not seen before.
As well as the moorhen there were Common Blue Damselflies around the edge of the pond, and two Emperor Dragonflies patrolling the sunlit Iris beds.
We left the pond and walked down the road towards Kitwood. The paddock between the road and the footpath across the field towards the wood has been allowed to grow to flowers. It looks lovely with thistles, knapweed and wild carrot in amongst the many different grasses. Scanning across the field Helen found a single Marbled White nectaring on some knapweed in the sunshine. As you can see there were also plenty of bees about.
I was looking to see if there were any skippers, when I noticed a very small orange butterfly. A closer look revealed that it was not a skipper, but I needed it to open its wings.
Finally it obliged to reveal another new butterfly for the patch, a Small Copper. It was very interested in the Wild Carrot, and I was able to get quite close, the upper hind wings look splendid with coppery colouring, and the delicate blue spots.
We decided not to cross to the wood, and made our way back down the road towards the school. With the hedgerow in full sun there were still plenty of butterflies about. They were mostly Whites and Meadow Browns, but I did manage to find this Small Skipper