Nectar

After arguably a little too much nectar in the Legless Arms last night, I headed down to Pinfold Meadow on Ainsdale NNR this morning to see how the insects were handling their liquor as they gorged on the last patches of blooming Ragwort.
Plenty of Foresters in the northern section clambering all over the yellow flowerheads – glittering metallic beasts when the sun hits ’em.

A female (or maybe a young male?) Emperor Dragonfly was patrolling the taller vegetation although I thought it was a bit strong when it started hunting and eating Small Skipper butterflies…
It gobbled ’em down, once it had shredded them with contempt for their fragile beauty.

There maybe stacks of the skippers on the meadow, but they don’t deserve that fate.
Ouch, that’s gotta smart.

I strolled down to the firebreak and back, enjoying Dark Green Frits, Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns, Gatekeeper and Red Admirals, but I didn’t bump into any Ringlets today, although it was too sunny and hot an afternoon to be looking too hard.
Back at the meadow a fair few Small Coppers were nectaring on the Ragwort too.
Winners of the “Best Butterfly of the Year” Award for the last 20 years (in my book anyway), they are gorgeous insects…

Good job the Emperor didn’t spot them – I may have needed counselling if I saw the brute tearing the wings off one of the Coppers.

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2 thoughts on “Nectar

  1. Excellent find. Your Emperor looks like a female – colouration can be quite variable but the abdomen is a little fatter than the male and the anal appendages a different shape. They can catch and eat a surprising variety of insect prey, including other dragonflies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Can’t get out and about ourselves at the moment so it’s great to be kept up to date with what’s going on out there. And Small Copper gets our vote, too. Thanks John.

    Liked by 1 person

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