Tuesday, 11 April 2017

April 11th Mousehold Heath

I'm back at Mousehold for another butterfly survey with Will the warden. It has been a slightly chilly start to this morning's survey, but it soon warmed up when the sun came out from hiding behind a cloud. Because of this slight chill, the butterflies weren't completely out in force today. Here's what we saw...
Small White

  • 2 small whites. There are there species of common white butterfly in the UK and they can be confusing to tell apart without a closer inspection, especially when flying. This one is a small white, which is much smaller than the large white and has no green veins on the underside of the wing like the green-veined white. I still struggle with these three species from time to time though.

Speckled Wood

  • 3-4 speckled woods. This is a common woodland species that is easy to encounter and to identify with its brown and speckled wings.

Holly Blue
  • 1 holly blue. This is one of the commonest species of blue butterfly in the UK. I often see them more on ivy than holly and tend to fly high into the canopy than any other British blue butterfly. The best way in telling them apart with other blue species is to look at the underside of the wings. If you see black dots on a plain blue background, then you have a holly blue. If you see orange spots alongside the black dots, its a common blue or something similar.

Green Tiger Beetle

We also saw an orange-tip after completing the survey as well as a green tiger beetle. Today's survey wasn't as good as last week's, but it was as expected for April. Hopefully, if the weather remains good enough, we should see more butterflies in large numbers very soon.

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