30+ Clouded Yellows!

25th September 2009, Friday

Yesterday Mary and I walked from East Guldeford to Moneypenny and Camber. In the first small field NE of East Guldeford Church we found 3 Clouded Yellows, then scanning the next field I counted at least 16, mostly flying around the large patches of autumn hawkbit and dandelions. There were no more all the way to the eastern end of Camber. This morning I had a longer look and took some photos. Again 3 in the first field, then from various vantage points I scanned the second field several times, counting all those I saw flying. It’s a long field, 550 x 120 metres – but luckily Clouded Yellows are very easy to spot in flight, though much harder when settled low down. The highest count was 27, but walking past the patches of flowers a high proportion were settled, so there could be 50 in this one field. I found a pair mating and one female of the white-winged helice form which seemed to be laying eggs on the flowers and was often being chased by males. The top photo shows one of the usual deep yellow form, with the mating pair and the helice female shown below. I could find none of the rarer Pale or Berger’s Clouded Yellows.