Skittish Skippers and Moody Blues

I was out and about for part of the day looking at tasks for the Access to Nature volunteers. One of the places we went to was Milton Locks, I confess it is a while since I was down there. This tiny site on the northern shore of Eastney Lake on Portsea Island is of note as it is one of very few places where the shore has a natural slope from grassland down into a narrow saltmarsh zone and onto the intertidal. In the sunshine it was looking very pleasant and the long grass was alive with butterflies.

Milton Locks

Milton Locks

There were lots of marbled white and a fair few small skipper, large skippermeadow brown and the odd common blue, but all were well able to avoid my attempts to photograph them in the hot sunshine.

We then headed up to Farlington Marshes where there were more signs that, despite the high summer weather, autumn is coming. Along the Stream there were 2 common sandpiper and I saw at least 11 greenshank flying over the reedbed to roost on the Scrape, all waders on their way back south already. On the fence of West Mudlands a family of swallows were perched, the juveniles allowed fairly close approach and I got a “digibin” shot of one of them.

juvenile swallow

juvenile swallow

As we went up to the ponds north of the A27 we came across a garden tiger caterpillar in the gateway, these are the “woolly bears” that used to be so common but have not been so in recent years, but perhaps they are making something of  comeback as I have seen quiet a few this summer.

garden tiger caterpillar

garden tiger caterpillar

This was not the most notable moth of the day however, that title went to a moth caught in the trap run overnight at Beechcroft, it was a species I have seen only once before, a white satin.

white satin

white satin

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