Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pine Coning!

The following is from Matthew - back in Fermyn

To the lexicon of Emperoring we can now add the term 'pine coning.' Today, in Fermyn Woods at least 10 males were gathered in the stand of tall open pines just past 'Poplar Corner' in Lady Wood Head.  At one point I saw five in a vista.  They were busy searching the pine trees, inspecting brown cones as if the cones might harbour females (the males of many Browns are attracted to brown objects, notably the Mountain Ringlet, which has a fixation with cast bits of Herdwick sheep wool). I haven't seen iris males 'pine coning' before, and have only twice seen them using this pine stand, but on three occasions I've seen pairs mating high up in pine trees whilst settled on cones.

All told I saw at least 50 individuals, including five females, two of which were on the ground.  A few males are still coming down, but they are distinctly middle aged now.  I did see one male down who was maybe two days old.

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