Record Shot of Female Emerald Damselfly, near Mardleybury Pond, Reed End, 3 September
A very late swift was also seen at Hatchpen Farm and at least eight chiffchaffs were recorded on my walk. Having not seen a local hobby all summer until the 3rd I was surprised to see another (or the same bird) flying over Therfield Heath on the following day. Two spotted flycatchers were having a squeaky 'conversation' at the bottom of Church Hill, also on the 4th. Linnet numbers continued to build on Greys Farm, with over 200 present on the late afternoon of the 9th, whilst nearby a roost of 67 starlings was seen. Normally I would have lost interest in butterfly sightings by September, but the bizarre appearance of adonis blues on Church Hill in late August kept drawing me back to take photos. Whilst the males were becoming very tatty by early September some of the females were still in 'good nick' and I was able to photograph one or two on the 8th in order to make a comparison with the extremely similar female chalkhill blues, which also occur on Church Hill but have more or less all died by the end of August. Comparisons are ongoing: a few images illustrating wing details of the two species are shown below.
Adonis Blue Female, Wings Open, Church Hill, 8 September
Adonis Blue Female, Wings Closed, Church Hill, 7 September
Examples of Adonis Blue Female upper Hind Wing Markings, two Butterflies both Photographed on 7 September
Examples of Chalkhill Blue Female upper Hind Wing Markings, two Butterflies Photographed in 2016 and 2017.
Whilst on Church Hill I photographed several insects taking nectar from devil's bit scabious. This late summer flowering plant is clearly a very important source of food for winged insects at this time of year.
White-tailed (?) Bumble Bee on Devil's Bit Scabious, Church Hill, 7 September