Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Bits and pieces from Essex

I've been working in Essex today and as always, plenty of bits and pieces to discuss here without saying exactly where I've been. This morning I was walking along a particularly unimpressive looking hedgerow bordering an arable field, when I noticed several tiny skippers flying around in the field margins. Clearly too small for large skipper I thought, in fact they looked to be about the smallest skippers I had ever seen, which immediately raised my suspicions. I managed to spot one land and the dark tips to the anntenae immediately identified them as Essex skippers. Small skippers have and orange tip, and large skippers, apart from being bigger, have a more marked underwing.

Essex skipper, a first for me.

In the late afternoon I moved to a more coastal area. I noticed a damselfly perched on vegetation in a ditch and moved towards it to photograph it. The insect flew off and I turned back to the path and froze in my tracks. Right in front of me, a foot away at most, was an impresssive looking adder! I must have walked right past it. How I didn't stand on it I'll never know!

This looks like a gravid (pregnant) female from the size of its middle. A good 2 feet long, it was probably the largest adder I've ever encountered.

Also today, lots of holly blues on the wing.

Ruddy darter.

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