Saturday, 27 July 2013

Butterflies in high summer

JULY is a funny time of year for many - the freshness of spring is long gone and most birds have stopped singing and now skulk around out of sight or feed their young.  So those with an inquisitive mind turn their attention to other things, namely insects - primarily butterflies (Lepidoptera), damselflies and dragonflies (Odonata).

On the Somerset Levels the Odonata were everywhere last Sunday, but pretty impossible to photograph in flight.  However I did have more success with the butterflies.

The steaming hot weather has suited the insects down to the ground.  This beautiful large skipper was found feeding on bird's-foot trefoil.

In high summer the hedgerows and ditch margins are lush and full with grasses, meadowsweet and great willowherb growing tall.  Greater bird's-foot trefoil weaves between stems of other plants to send its golden yellow flowers skywards.

Everyone knows that many butterflies love buddleia. Primarily whites, tortoiseshells, peacocks and painted ladies feed on the purple flowers.  In this case the group of butterflies seemed to be constantly agitated, rising into the sky in aggressive dog fights. 

The cabbage white is one of our most familiar butterfly species -here it was found feeding on willowherb flowers.


Some other subjects also caught my eye:

The highlights of high summer.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful account. As I've stated on other blogs re: the abundance of winged insects. What a fantastic Summer it has been for a whole range of winged insects. All one can hope is that, the forthcoming winter's weather is kind (not that we can change it) and that, disturbance is kept to a minimum. Then, and only then, can we hope to see another resurgence next Spring and Summer. It truly has been a stunning year for them, first decent one for many a year, surely.


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