26
Aug
16

Aberrations

One of my guests on the butterfly tour last month brought this Chalkhill Blue butterfly to my attention. It’s unusually coloured. It’s an aberration, a freak, a variation that nature sometimes throws into the pot. I was curious what the Butterfly County recorder, Andy Brazil,  would make of it. Here’s what he said:

Chalkhill’s have historically had a lot of variations recorded, but we’ve not had any from Norfolk before.

There’s a similar aberration here http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/gallery/image_page.php?album_id=271&image_id=11243 named as post-obsoleta, but this female also has a paler, washed-out ground colour of ab pallidulla. I’ve looked through this list http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/aberrations.php?species=coridon but nothing quite matches the combination. So I’d say it was ab. post-obsoleta ab.pallidulla so two aberrations on the same insect!

So there you go. Another first for Norfolk!

Chalkhill Blue (Aberrant)

24
Aug
16

Charming little chaps

I counted nine at the peak on the local reservoir. An easterly element in the wind and a passage of Common Sandpipers filled the air with the rapid staccato of swee swee swee swee swuu’s. Charming little chaps.

Common Sandpiper

 

24
Aug
16

Photography – Norfolk and Beyond

From today for the next two weeks a selection of my photographs are on display and are for sale at Cley Marshes NWT – I hope to see you there. 

  

22
Aug
16

Bronze serpent

A chance encounter with a slow worm on a couple of tours the other day was appreciated by all concerned. This legless lizard although harmless is quite beautiful. A bronze serpent.

Slow Worm

20
Aug
16

When is a hoverfly not a hoverfly

This Volucella Zonaria pushed it’s nose in front of us during a recent tour. A Hornet mimic it does quite a good job for our largest hoverfly!

Volucella Zonaria

18
Aug
16

A Welcome Home

Having spent the last fortnight in Nova Scotia it’s nice to come home; especially when there’s a welcome.

Even as the Red Arrows put on a spectacle in the sky I found myself struggling to find Andy’s Icterine that he saw here on the hill. It had obviously moved on. I made my way towards home only to find this little chap on the hedgerows. A welcome Wryneck.

Wryneck 1Wryneck 2Red Arrows

 

 

16
Aug
16

Valezina

On the Butterfly day this year we managed 24 species along the Norfolk coast; and we missed some obvious ones. As we waited for insects to descend into the sunshine draped blackberry bush a Valezina arrived. This is a washed out silver form of the female Silver Washed Fritillary with a rainbow thorax. When I say it arrived; I mean it did everything but slap us in the face. I was surprised. I’ve never heard of one being seen at this site before and to have one land just inches from us was quite a delight… for us all.

Silver Washed Fritillary (Valezina)1 Silver Washed Fritillary (Valezina)2




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