Saturday, 1 May 2010

Punctuation

The punctuation I refer to in the title, are Commas. Little did Malcolm and I expect as we set out this morning in the sunshine (also unexpected following last night's forecast) that we would see Commas sitting in the Willow trees! Strange as it may seem, I don't mean these ,,,, but these Comma butterflies (Polygonia c-album). Commas have been increasing in number since the 1930's following an unexplained crash in numbers in the 20's. The caterpillars feed on Stinging Nettles, Elm and Currant leaves among others.
Following the picture of a male Orange Tip Butterfly, today we saw several females, these drinking in a puddle and topping up on minerals from the mud. The females are far less 'showy' than the males, lacking the Orange Tips to the wings which give them their name.
A little difficult to see, but not to hear, were the Sedge Warblers (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus). Back in Britain from their wintering grounds in Tropical Africa, these 'little brown jobs' will have to be careful if they are not to fall victim to the Cuckoos which are calling around the area. Can you spot the warbler in this picture?
Lastly, it's Tadpole time again. Hundreds of them were swimming around in the lakes and ponds this morning.
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