I walked home from work, this afternoon, in glorious sunshine and temperatures that are, finally, more in keeping with the month of June. The biting northerly had abated and been replaced by a far more gentle SE breeze. With this change in temperature has come a change in the insect activity - all of a sudden there are butterflies along the footpaths and a few bumblebees as well. I got home and fed the birds before grabbing the camera gear and wandering back across Newland's Farm.
I'd seen a nice Ichneumon Wasp - Amblyteles armortorius - on my homeward journey and hoped that it would hang around? Luck was on my side and I relocated it (?) plus getting the opportunity to photograph many other species that were enjoying these "Spring-like" conditions.
I got a few images of Small White butterflies, but the white balance on my camera wasn't correctly set and they are hopeless. Better result with my second Painted Lady, of 2013, when a tatty individual posed on the exposed earth around the edge of a potato field. The tiny sawfly, Cephus pygmaeus, was found along the same field boundary - a very serious cereal crop pest, I photographed it on wheat stems - the female releasing pheromones?
I did the full circuit, with so much activity along the hedgerows it seemed silly not to. Diamond-back moths were everywhere - another agricultural pest species and one that is usually associated with insect migration. I will run the moth trap tonight and expect to see a massive increase in my catch. (It shouldn't be too difficult to improve on seven moths?)
It was just nice to be out in the sunshine again. Whatever the season, it always seems so much better when the sun shines from a clear blue sky.
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