Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Welfare Mothers

When Neil Young wrote Welfare Mothers, I suspect he wasn't making reference to the lepidopterists of this world, so I hope you'll forgive the pun in today's title.

However, it has to be said that I have taken my first tentative steps into the vast and imposing waters of all things moth. I'm not quite ready to throw away the water wings and immerse myself fully just yet, but I expect it will happen at some point. At the moment, I'm content to stumble across them whilst on the hunt for birds, butterflies and dragonflies, as opposed to actively pursuing them.

Armed with the Concise Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, I've already bagged a few species and been able to identify them myself - something that gives me great pleasure. Throw in a few that I've chanced upon over the last few years, such as dark arches, and I've got the beginnings of a life list of sorts.

Today I found a new addition to this list, silver Y, which I observed at work. For once, the sun was shining and there were many butterflies on the wing - commas, painted ladies, gatekeepers and peacocks to name but a few.

Conditions were good for photos and, on the whole, the butterflies were playing ball too.

Silver Y

Silver Y moth

Large white

Small white

Peacock

Peacock

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Gatekeepers

Painted lady

Painted lady

Painted ladies

Finally, I think this is a green-veined white, but I still struggle with the white butterflies from time to time.

Green-veined white

Green-veined white - or is it?

The wildlife at work has been nothing short of sensational over the past couple of months. Also on the wing today, a couple of southern hawkers, a brown hawker and a common darter. The green woodpeckers were out and about too.

Green woodpecker

Green woodpecker

I simply must get out on a neglected patch this week. I have Friday morning pencilled in for a stroll up to Weatheroak, where recent sightings include hobby and raven. I spotted a second local red kite just over a week ago near Shirley station, so I think that has to be another possibility, albeit a remote one.

As usual, a full report will follow in due course.

3 comments:

Pete Walkden said...

Reg, if you spot another hobby around there, let me know please? They allegedly used to nest near the Peacock Pub, in the lanes off to the side of the car park.

And do the green woodies ever venture near the entrance to your work place? Looks like it has armed guards, so I daren't try to trespass ;-)

Reg The Birder said...

Will do. I'm not expecting to get a hobby, to be honest.

I've spotted green woodies in the lane opposite our place, and also in Brick Kiln Lane too.

You don't seriously think you'll get a better picture than mine, do you?

Reg The Birder said...

That large white might be a small white - I'll post it on the forum and find out.