Saturday, 7 July 2012

Marbled Whites & Small Skippers - sun basking in Orlestone

In contrast to record-breaking rain over much of the UK, down here in South Kent, we've had a touch of summer including some hot humid weather with hours of sunshine lasting long enough to almost forget how bad the weather has been.
Such weather has allowed some of our Butterflies to have been able to put on a good show, in particular, the very beautiful Marbled White. Just on the edge of the village in flower-rich hay fields backing onto Orlestone forest, we've found a favored field for a large number of Marbled Whites to sun-bath the afternoon and then the evenings away.
Reference guides show the female Marbled White as having a cream tinge to to the underwing, and thats dificult to see in these images as the light was warm and low in the sky at the time, however the bottom butterfly does look more strikingly marked so we can assume this is the male.

Marbled Whites,  Orlestone Forest 7.30pm  July 6th

The same fields had good numbers of Meadow Brown Butterflies and just a few exquisite Small Skippers (pictured below). Returning back to the same fields this morning, and it was a different scenario, still warm but damp and overcast to. In fact the only insects to see and feel where Mosquitos. Back in Birchett Woods, a Lesser Spotted woodpecker was calling against a surprisingly strong chorus of Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler and Blackcap. A family party of Bullfinches was also present.

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