Friday 3 July 2020

A lunchtime wander through the dunes

I took a longer lunch break today to have a wander through the dunes whilst the sun shone between the days of rain. The dunes really are at their best right now, carpeted in bloody cranesbill, common restharrow, lady's bedstraw and cats ears.

Dune flora
Bloody cranesbill Geranium sanguineum
Common restharrow Ononis repens
My target was to photograph dark green fritillaries - they were on the wing now but rarely rest and when they do they're easily spooked. I think that the 400mm lens is better for this species. I managed a single distant shot.

Dark green fritillary Argynnis aglaja
My other plan was to look for hoverflies, hoping that there would be something different to the species that I find along the track and in the bushes. There wasn't much variety but some nice hovers and better photos of some species I've seen before.

Cheilosia illustrata
I saw Cheilosia illustrata for the first time last week so it was nice to get a better pic.

Sphaerophoria sp (female)
Sphaerophoria scripta (male)

Eupeodes corollea (male)
Eupeodes corollea (female)
I also found this groovy blue beetle. It's one of the Altica species of metallic flea beetle, probably Altica lythri.

Altica - probably A. lythri
As well as the dark green fritillaries, there were ringlets, common blue, meadow brown, small tortoiseshell and small heath on the wing in the dunes.

A worn-looking ringlet
Common blue (female)
I only found one cinnabar moth but plenty of their caterpillars on ragwort. Narrow-bordered five-spot burnet moths were everywhere and I found more Pammene aurana on cow parsley - the species I found last week.

Cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaeae and caterpillar
Narrow-bordered Five-spot burnet moth Zygaena lonicerae
Pammene aurana
I only walked about 150m in an hour and a half but there was plenty to see - all very enjoyable.

Field grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus
Blue-tailed damselfly Ischnura elegans

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