Monday, 25 July 2011

Butter and Dragon Flies

Sat with my 8 year old daughter looking for butterflies as part of the 'Butterfly Effect' counting programme. (www.butterflyeffects We sat in the sun with the sheet of photographs in the hope that we would see some butterflies. The budlia was as reliable as always and we quickly saw two peacock butterflies and then several others. The tally for our 15 minutes was as follows: 5 x Large Whites, 3 x Small White, 1 x Common Blue, 1 x Gatekeeper, 6 x Peacock and 2 x Red Admirals.

I was very pleased with the number of butterflies, 18 in all and as far as we could be sure, no double counting although its hard to be sure as they fly out of the garden and possibly back in again. Most of the butterflies flit busily from plant to plant although the red admiral was sitting with it's wings closed on the fence. The blue had to be chased to be identified as it was whizzing about the apple tree and I am not convinced we could reliably tell large from small whites so we had to go on size as they didn't seem to land.

Also saw several dragonflies and photographed one basking on the rose bush (*see above) . I am not a dragonfly expert but I think this is an Aeshna mixta, ( As there is a split in the wing triangle at the base of the rear wings) and I think a male because of the abdomen tail formation. Having said that there are differences from the drawing in my book and I don't know how much variation there can be within any one species. I also found a dead dragonfly on the road after my brother's wedding on Saturday at Hackney Town Hall but I am trying not to write about dead things.

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