What a difference a few days make

Two reports here from our lepidopterology and odonatology expert, Keith Powrie demonstrating the difference only a few days can make in the Garden. Read on for Weeks 15 and 16 below!

Week 15

Another poor count week. It seems July isn’t going to be much better than June! Just 15 butterflies were counted.

The average for this week at Knoll is 32.

The most common, with counts of 4, were Green-veined Whites and Ringlets. The only ondonata present were Azure Damselflies, with no dragonflies being seen at all!

Ringlet
© Keith Powrie

Azure Damselfly
© Keith Powrie

Week 16

What a difference a few days makes!

On the 12th, the Week 15 count yielded just 15 butterflies of 7 species.

A few days later, on the 15th, Week 16’s count was 31 butterflies of 11 different species.

Mind you, the presence of some sunshine does help!
Several new species were enticed onto the wing:

Small White – usually as a migrant, brought over on southerly winds from the Continent.
Comma – 1st brood from overwintering adults.
Gatekeeper – single brooded in mid summer.
Holly Blue – first appearance of 2nd brood.

The cool conditions between the short bouts of warm sunshine, have curtailed the emergence of dragonflies. A few Azure Damselflies were pairing up and egg-laying, but only one Large Red Damselfly was seen.

The only dragonfly seen was a male Brown Hawker – searching for a mate. Let’s hope he finds one soon, before the next lot of bad weather arrives!

Some distance from any water feature, was the discovery of an adult Banded Demoiselle.

Gatekeeper
© Keith Powrie

Brown Hawker
© Keith Powrie