Sunday 28 August 2011

Briefly back to Butterflies

Had a cracking day in Norfolk with the usual suspects (details on all their various blogs), featuring great views of the Western Bonelli’s Warbler, an occasionally obliging Red-backed Shrike, Red-necked Phalarope amongst a Cley wader spectacular, and finishing up with about 20 Lesser Whitethroats and a Pied Flycatcher at Warham Greens. Anyway, the internet already has enough words on that subject, so let’s move on to today.

I’ve probably mentioned here before that I’ve almost seen all the native British butterflies now: at the start of play today, there were four remaining. Only one of these occurs within 100 miles of London, though: Brown Hairstreak, a scarce insect that spends most of its time high up in ash trees. Given the forecast was for decent sunny intervals, Suzanne and I headed down for a look at Steyning Downlands in West Sussex.


The best time to see BH is around the middle of the day, when females descend from the treetops to lay eggs on Blackthorn and Bullace. Although it’s getting a bit late this year (with most butterflies having emerged early after the exceptionally warm spring), we managed to find one rather battered specimen, which showed briefly for a few photos:


We also encountered a contrastingly pristine Comma on the way back to the car: stunning!


A superb late Sunday roast was devoured at White’s Bar & Kitchen, just down the road, before we headed up to take in some classic South Downs scenery at Devil’s Dyke, high above Hove.


No comments: