Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Inhabitants of Ashdown Forest

When the Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) starts to emerge on Ashdown Forest, I become a much more regular visitor to this special landscape, which is home to a variety of creatures and plants that are acid heathland specialists. Plants like the Common Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) and Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum) are easily found but the Early Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) is a little harder to seek out.
 
 
Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) (male)
 
 
 
Silver-studded Blue (P.argus) (female)

 
 
Early Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) (ssp.pulchella)


 
 
Common Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) (an insectivorous plant)

 
 
Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum)

 
 
Last week, I was out walking the hedgerows when I watched a Hairy Dragonfly (Bachytron pratense) land on top of a hedge. I thought at first that it was under attack from a predatory insect but soon realised that it was lying on its back whilst devouring a Soldier Beetle sp. I had never seen this behaviour before.
 
 
Hairy Dragonfly (Bachytron pratense) (laid back female devouring prey)

 
 
Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria) (attracted to the garden light trap)

 

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