Tuesday, 9 July 2013


I promise not to write two posts every day but the weather is so entrancing at the moment that a sunny walk is irresistible and every such walk brings a crop of insecty experiences and pictures. Indeed, when I suggested the idea to Penny, she said: "But are you going to be photographing butterflies?" and on hearing that I was, she decided she had things to do at home. The trouble is, each photograph requires quite an exercising in patient stalking, or for the entomological widow hanging about, as butterflies do not doze sleepily in eggboxes like the light trap's moths.

It paid off. The picture at the top for example is a fine Comma, with the second pic showing the curly mark on its underside which gives it its name. This one was intensely territorial, patrolling an area of sunlit hedge and wood periphery less than 20 yards long.

This Small Tortoiseshell had a slightly wider range, jinking about for some 200 yards on the edge of a field of oilseed rape. It strayed even further when a second one appeared and they conducted a love ballet together before going their separate ways.

Next along was this Large Skipper - I think - which zipped around a modest stretch of hedge a few hundred yards to the south of the Comma's beat. You can see it greedily sipping nectar through its proboscis from a bramble flower; ditto on ragwort (lovely plant, ignore the nonsense about it being a 'dangerous' weed) with this Meadow Brown.

Finally, a glittering dragonfly above the River Cherwell; sorry for the slight blurring but it was high up and I couldn't get any closer. Along with Small and Green-veined Whites, which were abundant on my route, all these species are in fine fettle and a rebuke to those, especially in the media, who persist in the dreary mantra that UK butterflies are disappearing.


Banished To A Pompous Land said...

Hi Martin, well basic rule is wings flat its a dragon and wings up its a damsel. So yours is a damsel. Couldn't be one of more than a couple of species. My guess from the pic is a Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) but I can't tell from there if its a female or an immature male.

Martin Wainwright said...

Thanks so much Banished - and I'm much enjoyinh your adventures over there. I'm sure you're right though curiously on today's post (Weds 10 July) I've a pic of a Common Blue Damselfly with its wings flat. But there are exceptions to every rule...

all warm wishes as always


Banished To A Pompous Land said...

I put it clumsily didn't I? More accurately its wings back. The Demoiselle was back and up, most are more like the Common Blue and over here we have an intermediate group called the spreadwings.


But dragons are out flat and spread at work rest or play. Well except the Halloween Pennant of course...obviously


Why can't these beasts just obey the rules?

MartinWainwright said...

I'm with you - thanks again B