What a difference a day makes – our topsy turvy spring continues. The above photo was taken in sunshine yesterday – today was a different story! At the request of one of our volunteers, we arranged an impromptu work party for this morning (27 April). There is still much work to be done over the summer and we were hoping to carry out a litter pick and some targeted weeding along the Scarlet Tiger bank, where recent grass growth is threatening to overwhelm some of the wild flowers. At the same time, it gives everyone the chance to see the caterpillars which are feeding openly at this time of year. Despite the fact that it was pouring, 6 turned up. We decided to abandon any thought of weeding but did carry out some litter collection.
The above photograph was taken yesterday when the weather was sunny, if not overly warm. The Alkanet was busy, not only with feeding larvae, but also a range of other insects – lots of bees.
These are just a couple of examples – not sure if they are bees or other types of insect. Below is another strange creature, basking in the sun on the Alkanet leaves.
There were also several Orange Tips about, making the most of the intermittent sunshine. Most were males flying rapidly. When the weather is so unreliable, they tend to be extremely active – have to make the most of every opportunity.
In addition to the males, I did see a female who was laying eggs on Garlic Mustard further along the bridle path.
The Alkanet is very popular as a source of nectar – bees as already mentioned but also yesterday I spotted the first Holly Blue of the season plus Small White, both nectaring on the Alkanet. With the 2 Speckled Wood seen at the weekend, the butterfly species count is up to 7.
Garlic Mustard (Jack-by-the-Hedge) important for the population of Orange Tip butterflies.