Fast and slow – Swifts and Green Tortoise Beetles

My first sighting of swifts over the village today – two of them spotted over Big Field, near the River Dene. There were also two Song Thrushes, one on the telegraph wire and the other in the top of the hedge. A Dunnock and a Blackbird were also singing from the telegraph wire.

In the hedgerow I could hear a bird warbling away – I think it might have been a Garden Warbler, or a Blackcap, but I couldn’t see it, and their songs are fairly similar. I managed to record it (lovely view of a hedge) and it’s on youtube – click here – please do let me know which you think it is. I think it’s more like a Garden Warbler, from listening to recordings online, but not really sure.

The Green Tortoise Beetles are in our garden, on Hedge Woundwort plants, and they’ve laid eggs. I watched one in action and took masses of photos. This is a female laying eggs. After laying each egg, she went over the heap spreading a quick-drying liquid over the top, that looked like cellophane.

Cassida viridis - Green Tortoise Beetle female

Cassida viridis – Green Tortoise Beetle female, cling-film-wrapping the egg mass

Once she’d finished, she deposited an extra large dollop of the fluid, and then defecated into it. Delightful. Presumably it makes it look more like a bit of dried leaf.

Cassida viridis - Green Tortoise Beetle egg-mass

Cassida viridis – Green Tortoise Beetle egg-mass freshly laid, with decoration

Quite a few butterflies are about round Big Field – Brimstones, Orange Tips, Green-veined Whites, Small Whites, Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells. Common, but beautiful all the same – as are the flowers they are feeding from.

Brimstone on Dandelion

Brimstone on Dandelion, sipping nectar

Green-veined White butterfly

Green-veined White butterfly on Cow Parsley


1 comment
  1. Great photos of the green tortoise! I must get to know my beetles better. Haven’t seen a swift yet this year but will now be on the lookout! Saw a few brimstones and orange tips today.

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