Friday, 29 March 2019

Inverts to the fore

The final day of my current stay at Dungeness dawned clear and cold, was then followed by a sea fret that rolled in, which finally gave way to sunny and warm conditions. The birds decided to stay away so it was up to the invertebrates to take centre stage.

LARGE TORTOISESHELL. The butterfly that was seen last Sunday, and again on Tuesday, appeared before Dave Brown and I early this afternoon, in the same place as Owen saw it three days ago. I had spent several hours searching for the insect this week and has assumed that today's weather would provide my best chance of seeing it. Rising up close by, taking off from lightly vegetated shingle, it flew towards us and, thankfully, banked as it glided past, providing good views, before being lost in flight.

Over the next couple of hours in which it was unsuccessfully searched for, by-product reward came in the form of single HUMMINGBIRD HAWK-MOTH and LIGHT ORANGE UNDERWING.

Before I left for home in the late afternoon I went onto the RSPB reserve and visited the sandy bank found at the entrance to Dennis's Hide where the colony of the very rare mining-bee ANDRENA VAGA is found. The warm weather and mild start to the spring had ensured that several hundred were on the wing, a living tableau of invert industry and activity.

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