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Tuesday 28 August 2012

Monday 27 August 2012

Wall, Common blue, Meadow brown & Speckled wood butterflies at Castle Hill yesterday.

Late yesterday afternoon we spotted a Wall butterfly, Lasiommata megera at Castle Hill, Sussex.

A Common blue
A Meadow brown

And a Speckled wood.

The view looking towards the white chalk cliffs of Seaford Head with Castle Hill below us.

Sunday 26 August 2012

Autumn Lady's-tresses orchids, Bullock Hill, Sussex

Autumn Lady's-tresses orchid, Spiranthes spirales was in flower today on the Sussex Downs.
What a joy to see this tiny orchid.

Sunday 19 August 2012

Holly blue & Fritillary butterflies.

This Fritillary was happy on this ragwort in the Long Plantation glade in Kingswood, Surrey this afternoon.

This Holly blue was enjoying the Marjoram. 

Sunday 12 August 2012

Violet Helleborine at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex

It is easy to miss this native orchid, Epipactis pupurata. 
I am grateful to the staff at Wakehurst Place for showing it to me.

Greylag geese in the Loder valley, yesterday.

Anser anser, the Greylag goose is doing well in UK.  There were over one hundred on the reserve this day.
Families stay together for the first year.

A half hour later they had nearly all flown off to Ardingly reservoir.

Monday 6 August 2012

Butterflies at Park Gate Down, Kent

This sheltered valley was a haven for orchids, butterflies and dragonflies when we visited yesterday.
A dozen or more Pyramidal Orchids were still flowering and hundreds of earlier orchids species had gone to seed
Above, Gloria hoping to see a late flowering Musk Orchid without success.
The butterflies were great; above a Gatekeeper, Pyronia tithonus.
Marbled White butterflies were common this day.
Peacock, Inachis io
6-spot Burnet moths seem to be really abundant this year

I found two Scabious plants next to each other, so that I could compare the Field Scabious, Knautia arvensis (left) with the Small Scabious, Scabiosa columbaria, (right) in the above photo'.  It is the leaves that are the easiest way to tell them apart.

Thursday 2 August 2012

More Chalkhill blue butterflies in the wind and rain yesterday

With a strong wind and rain on Wolstonbury hill yesterday, it was difficult for butterflies to sunbathe.
The Chalkhill blue, Lysandra coridon seemed to be getting a meal from the "Pride of Sussex" flower above.  Note its long flexible proboscis for sucking up nectar. They were plentiful and getting blown around in the strong winds.

Above is a female Chalkhill blue.
Despite the weather, a battered Silver-washed fritillary(?),  was seen, below.

This Marbled white, Melanargia galanthea is carrying a prominent red parasitic mite.

This Chalkhill Blue butterfly also has a mite, which are picked up from the flowers on which they feed.
This was a good day, with the hill to myself due to the very uncomfortable weather.

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