Sunday, 13 September 2009



Small Copper

9th Sept. Bit late with this one. I was back on patch for an hour today and found my first confirmed patch Small Copper Butterfly. It had been a wonderfully sunny and at times quite hot day, but by the time I took my walk it was clouding over and becoming much cooler. I stood and looked over the patch of tall grass land which is going back at a tremendous rate now and this lone butterfly caught my eye. It was the Small Copper. It behaved exactly as the book had described flying up to chase what was either another Small Copper or other insect then returning to its perch on the Common Ragwort. In the late afternoon and cooler air it had become very lethargic and it proved easy to photograph. A little worse for wear, but still a beautiful butterfly. I left it to take a walk to the small lake where I found only one of the juvenile Great Crested Grebes and no other members of the family and no Swallows or Martins. One Lesser Black Backed Gull was on the roof of the sports centre along with the Black Headed Gulls.
On my return about 30 minutes later, the Small Copper remained on the same plant, but this time with wings closed giving a good opportunity to take a photograph of the underwing. I felt lazy today so just wandered over the road to the other small rough area where the school had burnt down. I think this at least same of this area will soon disappear under brick and concrete again as the land is up for sale. I found both the fruit of the Tutsan Hypericum androsaemum and Bittersweet Solanum dulcamara which I have been watching develop during the summer. The fruits of the Tutsan are now turning from red to black and some of the leaves have begun to rot/be eaten so I didn’t feel bad about taking some of the leaves to press. I can confirm that they do smell of tobacco and I shall try them out as book marks once pressed. The fruits of the Bittersweet are turning from green to red. It has been interesting to note how these plants have developed over the weeks. The Garden Parsley Petroselinum crispum, where I found the Ladybirds and Ladybird larvae during the summer, has dried up completely. Sadly if the developers move in these plants may not get the chance to return next year.

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