Wednesday, 13 July 2011


I couldn't resist it. One last attempt to get a picture of the Lesser Emperors at Abbey Mead, discovered by Terry Laws over a week ago.
To cut a long story short I still didn't manage it. Despite numerous sightings, at least when the sun decided to shine for a few minutes, it refused to land. Well not in sight at any rate, it frequently disappeared, sometimes for quite long periods so I guess it must have been perching up somewhere. Never mind, at least I filled my boots with sightings and you never know, if summer ever arrives, maybe i'll try again.

Another species which frustratingly, still eludes my lens is the Brown Hawker. I like this species, not least because it's so easy to identify on the wing. But the trouble is I only ever find them on the wing. There were two or three buzzing around at Abbey Mead, sometimes fearlessly flying just a metre or so from my head as they hunted their prey and engaged in battle with intruders, be they other Brown Hawkers or even Lesser Emperor.
So it was left to the more obliging species to satisfy my redundant camera. The first being the immature Common Darter above and the seemingly ever present male Black-Tailed Skimmer below. Judging by a couple of ragged wing tips he has also seen a bit of aerial action in his short life.

All of a sudden Gatekeeper butterflies like the male pictured below, have appeared across the site, competing for prominence with the now fading Ringlets which seem to have dominated for a while. I still haven't managed to find a Painted Lady on the wing at New Hythe this year though. And Peacocks too seem very scarce, so far i've seen none of the offspring of the early adults who hibernated over the winter, although their caterpillars seemed to be relatively abundant here around May time.

I don't often take pictures of flies that look like flies, if you see what I mean. But I have to admit that the one pictured below is quite attractive with it's red eyes and chequered abdomen. It's most likely the Flesh Fly it's a somewhat gruesome name which isn't helped by the scientific name of Sarcophaga carnaria. Interestingly the species is also viviparous, laying larvae instead of eggs into the carrion in which it breeds. Isn't Nature wonderful.

The only bird added to my New Hythe July list was a Common Buzzard that drifted east to west, high over Abbey Mead lake. This took my struggling total to 50 species so far, it's a bit difficult on the bird front at the moment.

But if you're out and about during the week or at the weekend, enjoy yourself, because as my last picture shows, it's later than you think........................!!


Bob Bushell said...

I love your pictures of dragonflies, they are precious.

Warren Baker said...

Still time yet to get that Lesser Emperor Phil - just maybe not this weekend....rain and wind!

You're right about the birds though, it's hard going at the moment !

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Unlucky again with the Lesser .
I take it that the last shot was because Warren mentioned the 'A' word .
What do you expect flies to look like ?