Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Flying Things

The bright green countryside is burgeoning with flying and fluttering things at the moment.  Our garden is filled with noisy, squabbling young starlings, fighting over the fat-balls.  Bees and Hoverflies are buzzing around the flowers and the ever-present aphids are making free with almost every new shoot.  All those aphids are bad news for us, but they are very good news for the Ladybirds and it was a Ladybird which caught my eye this morning as we walked through Pewit Carr.  Normally of course, Ladybirds are rather attractive, bright red little insects with varying numbers of black spots.  Occasionally however, you find one which seems to have its colours 'reversed'.  This little beauty for example, is a variant of the more familiar Two-Spot Ladybird (Adalia bipunctata).
No less attractive than its black-spotted cousin, it was almost impossibly 'shiny' in the sunshine.
Butterflies are also flitting about the countryside in large numbers right now. Most seem to belong to the 'brown butterflies' section of any lepidopteran guide, this one included.  The Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Another rather brown butterfly was to be found sunbathing on a Blackberry leaf by the old Nutbrook Canal this morning.  This time, it was a Comma (Polygonia c-album), an easy one to identify by its scalloped wing edges.
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