Saturday, 27 June 2020

Holiday butterflies

The summer holidays have started and with it nice, hot, sunny weather more suited for butterflies than birds. We are spending the first week of the holiday as we usually do by the coast south of Oslo. In my post from this time last year I commented on how there were fewer butterflies than the previous year and that trend has continued. Butterfly biomass is quite low (especially compared to last year when there was a Painted Lady invasion) but variety is better this year.
One species is doing well though and that is Pearly Heath (perleringvinge) - I only recorded this species for the first time in 2018 and it is now one of the commonest species in the area.
I have recorded 22 species so far compared to 20 in 2019 and 25 in 2018 of which Amanda’s Blue (sølvblåvinge) is a lifer, Cranberry Fritillary (myrperlemorvinge) is new for me here plus Wall Brown which I did not see here in 2018/19 but have recorded here earlier.

Here is my butterfly list from the last three years for the area around the cabin with species not seen this year crossed out:
  1.  Large Skipper /engsmyger
  2. Large White / stor kålsommerfugl
  3. Green-veined White/rapssommerfugl
  4. Brimstone / sitronsommerfugl
  5. Silver-studded Blue/argusblåvinge - assumed this species and not Idas
  6. Scarce Copper/oransjegullvinge
  7. Purple hairstreak / eikestjertvinge
  8. Silver washed fritillary / keiserkåpe
  9. Dark Green Fritillary /aglajperlemorvinge
  10. High Brown Fritillary /adippeperlemorvinge
  11. Queen of Spain Fritillary / sølvkåpe
  12. Lesser Marbled Fritillary/engperlemorvinge
  13. Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary /brunflekket perlemorvinge
  14. Red Admiral / admiral
  15. Small Tortoiseshell / neslesommerfugl
  16. Poplar Admiral/ospesommerfugl
  17. Pearly Heath /perleringvinge
  18. Ringlet /gullrinvinge
  19. Grayling / kystringvinge
  20. Holly Blue / vårblåvinge
  21. Small White / liten kålsommerfugl - a flyby white assumed to be this species
  22. Common Blue / tiriltungeblåvinge
  23. Small Copper / ildgullvinge
  24. Heath Fritillary /marimjellerutevinge
  25. Swallowtail/svalestjert

New in 2019
  1. Cranberry Blue / Myrblåvinge
  2. Pearl-bordered Fritillary / rødflekket perlemorvinge
  3.  Grizzled Skipper / bakkesmyger
  4. Dingy Skipper / tiriltungesmyger
  5. Moorland Clouded Yellow / myrgulvinge
  6. Painted Lady / tistelsommerfugl

New in 2020
  1. Amanda’s Blue (sølvblåvinge)
  2. Cranberry Fritillary (myrperlemorvinge)
  3. Wall Brown (sørringvinge) but seen here in 2014 & 15

I’ve checked out a couple of ponds for odenata and had my first ever Variable Damselfy (fagerblåvannymfe). With damselflies, blue butterflies and fritillaries I keep having to remind myself how important it is to look at every individual in an area as it is extremely foolish to assume that they are all the same species as the first one you identified.

Birding wise I have had a pair of Wrynecks collecting food after seeing none last year although had birds at two localities in 2018. Red-backed Shrike at 3 sites is 1 better than last year but way down on 7-9 in 2018. One species doing well here though is Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which I have not recorded before but this year I found a nesting pair with noisy young about to fledge and another pair who seemed to be collecting food for young.

I have spent a bit more time than usual looking over the sea and was rewarded with a rare mid summer Arctic Skua chasing gulls. Large numbers of large gulls breed on the islands here so it wouldn’t be impossible for skuas to also breed.

I haven’t found the motivation for a nocturnal trip.

The new damselfy:

Variabel Damselfly (fargeblåvannymfe)
And the birds:

Female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett)

Wryneck (vendehals) with young to be fed

Male Redstart (rødstjert) who already had fledged young to feed

Female Red-backed Shrike (tornskate)

And male

Pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers

And the butterflies:

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (brunflekket perlemorvinge)

Moorland Clouded Yellow (myrgulvinge)

Queen of Spain Fritillary (sølvkåpe)

The same Moorland Clouded Yellow

Cranberry Fritillary (myrperlemorvinge)

The Moorland Clouded Yellow in flight

Amanda’s Blue (sølvblåvinge)

Silver washed Fritillary (keiserkåpe)

It is getting late for Pearl-bordered Fritillary (rødflekket perlemorvinge) and the couple I saw were vert worn

It is not easy getting a picture of the open wings of the Moorland Clouded Yellow

Dingy Skipper (tiriltungesmyger) lives up to its name

High Brown Fritillary (adippe perlemorvinge)

Lesser Marbled Fritillary (engperlemorvinge)

Heath Fritillary (marimjellerutevinge)

And another pic of the MCY as I liked it so much
And finally a Dark Green Fritillary (aglajaperlemorvinge)
Pearly Heaths (perleringvinge) - a species expanding north

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