July was still predominantly a insect month, there was a small amount of bird activity with a couple of Whimbrel passing over, a Marsh Harrier heading east and a lot more Swifts in the air. On one day I witnessed a pair of Hobbies teaming up against a small bird, trying to force it towards the other to prey on, one Hobby gave up whilst the other was lost to sight heading out to sea still chasing the bird. There was a lot of butterfly activity and plenty of new moths in the garden. This Buff Ermine moth above displayed a set of markings I had not seen before, depicting a elegant moustache was quite fitting for me to catch I thought.
The garden was awash with butterflies most days, at the beginning of the month there was a large movement of white butterflies, when Wimbledon was on the previous year the same thing happened and then during the second week there were hundreds of small and large whites moving along the coast, a lovely sight to see.
If you get the chance to see a Gatekeeper up close before it flies, you can pick out the 2 white spots in the black marking on the underside, there were a lot feeding on the marjoram in the garden and the bramble hedges were awash with them, and they can be very territorial to a favoured feeding area, chasing away other larger butterfly.
Every so often the Hummingbird Hawkmoth would visit the garden, favouring the verbena scattered around, I never get fed up with watching these.
Among the many Large and Small White butterfly I saw just this one Green Veined White, easily recognisable when feeding with wings folded.
One of the first butterfly of the Spring to see are the Brimstone, a welcome sight to the garden, It is commonly believed that the word 'butterfly' is derived from 'butter-coloured fly' which is attributed to the yellow of the male Brimstone butterfly.
The jagged edges of the comma's bright orange wings are a giveaway. The name comma butterfly derives from the small white 'C'-shaped marking resembling a comma on the underside of its wings.
The Meadow Brown is larger than the similar Gatekeeper but notice the single white dot on the black marking as opposed to the Gatekeeper's two dots.
This Southern Hawker dragonfly was resting up on bramble early one morning along the lanes, you will see these and other species patrolling up and down a territory hunting other insects, flight times is from the end of June right through to October.
The moth species started to dramatically increase in the garden, I had many new 'year ticks' and a few brand new species for the garden list, Hawkmoths were in decent numbers on some nights and always a delight to see in the trap the next morning.
This Silver Y is also regularly seen during the day in gardens, deriving it's name from the Y pattern on the wings.
There are a lot of colourful species of moth, definitely not a boring sight.
Speaking to a friend, it was discussed how there seemed to a lot of Elephant Hawkmoths that were very much under size resembling a size more like a small elephant hawkmoth!
I too found a Poplar Hawkmoth which appeared a lot smaller than normal.
The Buff Arches has a real intricate patterning on the wings, a stunning moth really.
This weird looking moth gets it's name from the buff coloured patch at the end of the wings, it rests up and looks just like a broken birch twig.
This Bordered Pug was a welcome new species for the garden.
Looking more like a butterfly the Common Emerald is a stunningly coloured moth.
Another new addition for the garden and my first one ever.
This is a very easily recognised moth with its 'wooly' head and black spotted markings.
Lesser Swallow Prominent
I have been getting Swallow Prominents in the garden but not the Lesser Swallow Prominent pictured above, a sort after addition for the garden and very similar to the closely marked Swallow Prominent, but the whiter marked wings and larger white triangular patch on the upper corner of the wing set it apart.
Very similar to the Common Emerald, this Large Emerald is just as beautiful and the largest of the emerald moth species.
I love the name of this moth, and my first ever.
This moth is identified due to its unique resting posture with the forewings held extended and covering the hindwings.
So a busy month with the winged insects, August should start to see more birds beginning to move and still more new moths hopefully for the garden.