Monday, 31 July 2017

A walk in the woods & Brown Argus Aberration

I had much of Saturday (22/07) to myself so during the morning, with a bit of sun on show, I went for my regular walk in Bucknell Wood for a mooch about for butterflies, not expecting to see anything too extraordinary. However, it turned out to be a really fruitful visit.

First up, I was hoping to find some second brood Wood Whites and I managed to come across at least 3 pretty fresh ones which was cool.

There were still plenty of Silver-Washed Fritillaries about, including 3-4 Valezina forms too.

Around one of the two main path crossroads, I was chuffed to finally break my Bucknell Small Copper hoodoo, clapping my eyes on one holding territory, initially picked up with the binoculars! In fact, I ended up finding a further two in a couple of other areas. This was my 29th butterfly species in Bucknell. It would be cool to make it to 30...fingers crossed we get a late summer burst of Clouded Yellows!

There appears to have been a really good 2nd brood emergence of Small Copper so far and these were some of a number I've seen recently. Encouraging, as in the last two or three years, I've really struggled to find any locally.

Also at the same crossroads was a stunning 'out of the box fresh' Painted Lady which performed nicely, together with several pristine Red Admirals feeding away on the Knapweed flower heads and Bramble flowers.

Finally, I also connected with a couple of Brown Argus, usually very scarce in Bucknell.

A heavy rain shower eventually curtailed my walk but a fab visit, notching a total of 21 species.

The next day (Sunday 23/07) I popped into Summer Leys for a look, before going out for Sunday roast with my parents. Bird-wise, it was relatively uneventful with a distant Green Sandpiper, as well as juvenile LRP & Redshank, but that was about it.

With a bit of sun beginning to show, I thought I'd have a little dabble looking for Brown Argus in the area close to the car park. After a short while I managed to locate a lovely fresh female, however this one no ordinary Brown Argus. It was clearly an aberration with a number of spots missing from it's underwing.

With some help from my good mate and Northants Butterfly Recorder, Dave James, we managed to find a match and it appears to be an ab. glomerata + obsoleta. What a beaut!

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