I have always thought of Ragwort as 'a danger' as it is I believe, poisonous to horses yet there seems so much of it about. What I have recognised this year is just how many insects appear to rely upon it for food, all manner of flying things, moths and butterflies and even the Cinnebar caterpiller feeds exclusively on this plant, somehow absorbing the toxicity – one heck of a defence mechanism.
The Common Blues had become a bit tatty as indeed had most of the butterflies – and while they are 'common', only if you know where to find them – I think this year has been my most successful to date and I can never get tired of these fabulous butterflies, the male and the female and the underside etc. Terrific. So here's perhaps the last viewing.
I know nothing about moths but came across this Mother of Pearl Moth feeding on Ragwort flowers – I'm not sure this is the best picture I have as it doesn't quite capture the 'pearl effect'... but you get the idea.
Perhaps someone can confirm the species of ladybird as I'm not too sure, it was in my garden.
Just recently there appear to have been an outburst of really good looking Small Tortoiseshell – not sure if they are the result of early breeding, but they certainly look well at the moment and a lot of them about.
I managed to catch this Wall butterfly with its wings closed at Lane Ends but it was an awful day, cool, overcast and it wasn't going to play. I was lucky to capture this image... I will be keeping a look out next year and must make plans to find a few more species.
Thanks to MJ I had a guided tour of Cottam Brickworks before Tesco get their hands on it and were lucky enough to come across this Common Darter suitably positioned for a photo or two. And finally, Small Copper are new to my portfolio this year so to have two on one flower head was 'interesting', primarily because one was looking the worse for wear and a bit 'pale', while the other was a deep orange/copper colour which I hope the image demonstrates. And finally a Small Copper on a dried flower head, 'cos I like it! (Photos 23 and 24 August)