Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Granville .. fetch the cloth

Lepidoptera books will tell you that the Glaville Fritillary is only found in Britain on the Isle of Wight near Ventnor. This is indeed true, unless you know of another colony, which was introduced onto undisclosed National Trust land in the South West in the 1980's.

Here's the Fella-me-Lad, the 4/5 spots on the second upperwing band are the identification marks. So today your anti-hero and blogger, Border Reiver ventured to said undisclosed site to see if they are still there. I have to report they may be (I did spy a fast flying Little Brown job, but not able to identify it), but not so today. Bizarrely considering I was on an site not many know about, I met a very nice woman who was also looking for this, and knew a lot more about butterflies than I ever will. She confirmed they were seen last year, so it's possible we're a bit too late as they fly May into June...or the volunteer National Trust Wardens who were strimming ragwort may have had chased them away.

Ahh well, there's always next year. It was such a glorious day, sun shining, not much wind and warm, I spent a wonderful 3 hours mooching about next to the sea in unspoilt countryside. One thing of note too for those birders amongst you, the place is swarming with Whitethroat, they were everywhere, I even managed to watch a pair in display/courtship flight for 10 minutes. Very nice just sitting there with the sun on my back, at peace with the world (and not at work!!)

So I'll let the rest of the blog just be photos from the day. I hope you enjoy them and welcome any details if I've mis-identified anything.


Small Copper

Speckled Wood

Red Admiral (sorry it was x24 hand held)

Now I think this is just a Common Blue, but having spots I'm not 100% sure

Large Skipper

Large White (again apologies for the x24 photo)

Female Common Blue and for the life of me, the blogger keeps turning it upside down. I've no idea why so have given up trying to get it the right way.

Male Common Blue, on ribwort plantaine, the host species of...... yes you've guessed it, Glanville Fritillary.

The Beasties (thanks Brett for additional info here)

Soldier Beetle, probably Cantharis rustica

Mosquito, possibly Chironomous plumosus - only male has plumes

Coreus marginatus, shield bug locked into docks and related plants

Now someone is bound to correct me here, but I'm pretty sure this is a "Woolly Bear" caterpillar of the Garden Tiger Moth

Lacewing, of the green variety, most probably Chrysoperis perla

Longhorn beetle on an ox-eye daisy, as there's 20,000 different varieties of these I've no idea.

The Flowers

Wild Clary (Julian's livid... no one outside the UK will get that joke)

Common Poppy

That elusive Scarlet Pimpernel

And last but by no means least, a Common Cat-Ear


  1. Lovely pictures, there's so much to see at the moment, it's great time of year isn't it...BW, Goosey

  2. I was going to put a message on here asking your advice on the best book on garden insects - looks as if you could write your own book on all the species! I'm looking for something to include all the different bees, damselflies etc - I've got the Collins field guide to Butterflies and Moths so doesn't need to major on these - any thoughts? This is an area I really don't know a lot about - all that I do know is that we have a large variety of insect life in the garden and I'd like to learn more about them! Hope you can help... good to see the sun shining at last over here... more wet weather on the way I hear! Miranda

  3. what a wonderful blog you have here! thanks for stopping by my Hedgewitch blog .. I will put your link on my Earth and Tree blog, where we all love wildflowers and wildlife!

    so great to find another UK based nature-lover :-)

  4. Hi Oldcrow and Goosey, thanks yes it is a fabulous time, so much to see and so much activity in the countryside, lovely time, just wish it would warm up a bit.

    Miranda, I'm no expert at all and very lucky in having some very knowledgable colleagues in the NHU to help. I'm still very much learning, I can hear my entomology lecturer as I type saying, pay more attention Dawes!! I wish I had. The Collins guide is a good start, but I'll drop you a line by e-mail.

    Hi Hedgewitch, lovely to have you pop by and vote of confidence in my ramblings, I hope you like future postings. I've changed the link to Earth and Trees.