If it has been too hot for many creatures to be in the open at least it has been a good year for butterflies and dragonflies. I don't recall seeing so many meadow browns. There are three other brown butterflies similar to the meadow brown, the gatekeeper, the ringlet and the speckled Wood. All have been seen this year. Another brown butterfly is the female of the common blue. I have seen only one this year as they seem to be more secretive than the bright blue male . The holly blues are more difficult to tell apart as both male and female are blue although the female has darker edges to the wings. The common blue has orange and black spots on the underside of the wings and the holly blues underside is silvery white with only a few small black spots. The common butterflies that have been seen are red admiral, peacock, painted lady , small tortoiseshell, comma ( comma upperside of wings, comma underside of wings), small copper ( small copper upperside of wings, small copper underside of wings), large white, small white, green veined white, orange tip, brimstone and a single sighting of a small skipper. Not all moths fly at night. The most common seen in daylight is the ‘silver Y’ which, as its name suggests, has a silver mark in the shape of a Y on its wings. I have seen one cinnabar moth this year. These are very distinctive with red hind wings and black forewings with two red spots and a red line. I don't expect to see many of these as the caterpillars feed on ragwort which has to be cleared from the field as it is poisonous to horses. In late August a speckled bush-cricket , an insect not often seen, was found on my chrysanthemums. If the daytime is too hot for many animals to be out and about then the nights are active times. The street lamps attract insects which in turn attract bats. Several have been seen around the light outside the house. This is when you need a bat detector which can identify the bat by the frequency of their echo location. The young tawny owls were heard in the trees for several weeks. Their location could be followed, as they moved from branch to branch, by their cries which sound like a wheel in need of a drop of oil. They continue calling until well into the early hours of the morning. Suddenly one night there was silence, they had finally flown away. I read somewhere that as soon as they can feed themselves the parents drive them away. Another visitor has been a Hedgehog which has made several appearances in the drive, much to the annoyance of the dog. I have to go and remove it to a place of safety. Finally not all wildlife is welcome. I decided to give the inside of the car its annual vacuuming. I got the cleaner from the garage but could not get any suction. On taking it to bits found mice have entered via the hole where the hose is attached and nested in the bag. Not only that they had chewed all the plastic and destroyed the inside of the machine. Mice are not popular at the moment.
A Pheasant’s Year - Bob Sheridan
© 1996 - 2018 Mike Frisby Langham in Rutland
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If it has been too hot for many creatures to be in the open at least it has been a good year for butterflies and dragonflies. I don't recall seeing so many meadow browns. There are three other brown butterflies similar to the meadow brown, the gatekeeper, the ringlet and the speckled Wood. All have been seen this year. Another brown butterfly is the female of the common blue. I have seen only one this year as they seem to be more secretive than the bright blue male . The holly blues are more difficult to tell apart as both male and female are blue although the female has darker edges to the wings. The common blue has orange and black spots on the underside of the wings and the holly blues underside is silvery white with only a few small black spots. The common butterflies that have been seen are red admiral, peacock, painted lady , small tortoiseshell, comma ( comma upperside of wings, comma underside of wings), small copper ( small copper upperside of wings, small copper underside of wings), large white, small white, green veined white, orange tip, brimstone and a single sighting of a small skipper. Not all moths fly at night. The most common seen in daylight is the ‘silver Y’ which, as its name suggests, has a silver mark in the shape of a Y on its wings. I have seen one cinnabar moth this year. These are very distinctive with red hind wings and black forewings with two red spots and a red line. I don't expect to see many of these as the caterpillars feed on ragwort which has to be cleared from the field as it is poisonous to horses. In late August a speckled bush- cricket , an insect not often seen, was found on my chrysanthemums. If the daytime is too hot for many animals to be out and about then the nights are active times. The street lamps attract insects which in turn attract bats. Several have been seen around the light outside the house. This is when you need a bat detector which can identify the bat by the frequency of their echo location. The young tawny owls were heard in the trees for several weeks. Their location could be followed, as they moved from branch to branch, by their cries which sound like a wheel in need of a drop of oil. They continue calling until well into the early hours of the morning. Suddenly one night there was silence, they had finally flown away. I read somewhere that as soon as they can feed themselves the parents drive them away. Another visitor has been a Hedgehog which has made several appearances in the drive, much to the annoyance of the dog. I have to go and remove it to a place of safety. Finally not all wildlife is welcome. I decided to give the inside of the car its annual vacuuming. I got the cleaner from the garage but could not get any suction. On taking it to bits found mice have entered via the hole where the hose is attached and nested in the bag. Not only that they had chewed all the plastic and destroyed the inside of the machine. Mice are not popular at the moment.
A Pheasant’s Year - Bob Sheridan
Langham in Rutland © 1996 - 2018 Mike Frisby