A frenzy of orchids, bees that could be wasps, a duck’s head, a tatty Peacock and bioblitzing are amongst this week’s highlights in Unforgettabubble. Here is the week 11th – 17th June 2017, in pictures.
The thermometer hits the late 20s and the verge just around the corner from Bubble HQ in Dalby Forest is now a meadow.
Filled with Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Ox-Eye Daisies, Common Spotted Orchids, Clovers and other such meadow flora, the verge is filled with butterflies and moths such as (below, from clockwise)…..Chimney Sweeper, Burnett Companion, Small Tortoiseshell, Dingy Skipper, Peacock and mating micros.
The verge is seeing new beginnings such as the Six-spot Burnet moth chrysalis and caterpillar…
…and this newly emerged Brimstone butterfly (well, I thought it was a Brimstone but what do I know?!! thanks to the expertise of the Yorkshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation, it’s a Large White!), looking all creased and crinkly, on Dame’s Violet.
Meanwhile the older generation, such as this tatty, faded Peacock butterfly, is still getting out and about.
Moths, such as Grass Veneers, cling to the grasses…
….and micro moths such as this one below cannot be distinguished until a thorough inspection of its genitals is carried out! Needless to say, this one can stay either Dichrorampha alpinana or Dichrorampha flavidorsana.
Out on Seaton Moor on the North York Moors above Whiby, the Cottongrass is out and prolific….
Mixed with Cross-leaved Heath (below with bee) and heather, it sits in a heat haze and blows in the wind which, incidentally, is very welcome on such a warm day.
The not-so-common Grass Wave moth is seen amongst the heather…
and a huge patch of Common Spotted Orchids is in flower.
In fact, it has been a Common Spotted week – they are flowering everywhere I go
Back at Bubble HQ, it’s tough being a fledgling as a baby Chaffinch sleeps in the garden in the heat of the day…
and, at nearby Sutherbruff Quarry, butterflies are loving the Viper’s Bugloss which has finally burst into flower.
A colony of Bee Orchids have me looking closer to see if they could be Wasp Orchids because the tip, which is pulled back in the Bee Orchid making it look rounded, is rather pointed just like a Wasp Orchid. It’s not just on one either. It seems to be on every spike even at opposite ends of the quarry. After consulting many books, I come to the conclusion that they are a varied form of Bee Orchid. If you know better, please let me know.
But don’t you just love a Bee Orchid? They’re just so eager and genuinely happy to see you!
Whilst looking at the books, David Lang in ‘Britain’s Orchids (one of the Wild Guides supporting The Wildlife Trusts and, in turn, supported by English Nature – a highly recommended series of books) writes about “the column is prominent and beaked, with a fanciful resemblance to a duck’s head”. I wondered what he meant by this and I think I’ve found it! I think this is what he means…
I hope I’m right by this otherwise I’m just seeing ducks where they really ought not to be!! Let me know your thoughts
The North York Moors National Park hold a ‘Bioblitz’ event at Grosmont – a day of recording natural and local history. My records include Common White Wave and Clouded Border moths, an array of birds and plants and this Common Toad!
Back in the car park, the bird ringers rig up a mist net in the surrounding woods. This Robin is one of the first of the day to be caught and kitted out with a ring
And finally, with the end of a gorgeous weekend in sight, here’s to the next week….’bottoms up’ everyone!