For illustrated talks on natural history and history see www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Butterflies of the Seven Sisters, East Sussex, UK on 29 June 2018 -- especially Dark Green Fritillaries, Painted Ladies, Marbled Whites and Burnet moths.

View to Belle Tout lighthouse and Beachy Head
 It was a great pleasure to meet up with Fran├žois Piolino again and to walk Crowlink - two of the Seven Sisters (Brass point and Rough Brow) - Lime Kiln Bottom - Foxhole bottom - Friston Forest.

White butterfly on Mignonette

 Spot the butterfly.
 A Painted Lady, an apposite butterfly to see on this day as tenor Fran├žois Piolino is currently appearing in Madama Butterfly at Glynebourne.



 Centaury with a Burnet moth.
 At least twelve Dark Green Fritillaries were flying around.  One copulating pair were blown out to sea by the strong northerly wind on their nuptial flight.








 Day-flying Burnet Moth on Viper's Bugloss flower.

 Small? Skipper.


 Large Skipper, Burnet moth and Marbled White on Viper's bugloss, Echium vulgare.





Meadow Brown at High and Over.
Marbled White with a parasitic tick at High and Over.


Also at High & Over, our County flower -- the beautiful "Pride of Sussex"


Also seen but not photographed were Small Coppers and possibly a Ringlet in the Forest.  Birds seen included a Flycatcher and two Meadow Pipits. 
However, the driver for this walk was orchids: Burnt Orchids, Pyramidal and Broad-leaved Helleborines, which will be covered in a separate entry.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Ashdown Forest Butterfly Conservation Sussex, Silver-studded Blue butterfly survey, three and a half mile walk yesterday afternoon 27 June 2018.

Encouraged by Butterfly Conservation Sussex, Ashdown Forest 2018 - Silver-studded Blues survey: details at  https://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/sites/ashdown2018.php  the survey route (and a bit more) was walked in the expert company of William Coleman, inter alia chairman of Chailey Commons Society 

Here are some pictures from the walk.  Click on them to enlarge them.

 A Fallow deer fawn.

 A female Stonechat.





 There were five male and one female Silver-studded Blue butterflies at this location.


 A "Blue" or a Large Skipper?  Lots of the latter raised false hopes on this afternoon.


 William Coleman navigating and spotting rare plants and SsB's.







 Bog Asphodel, Narthecium ossifragum.


 One of over 400 species of Sawfly?

 There were two males and one female at this location.

 An unidentified moth.  Help please!
Spot the insect on the grass blade.

It is a tiny, newly emerged Orthopteroid (grasshopper).  All species hatch from eggs as tiny versions of the adult, but without wings, called nymphs; they grow by moulting (ecdysis) through 4 or more stages (or instars).  Reference http://www.field-studies-council.org/publications/pubs/grasshoppers-identification-guide.aspx

 Large Skipper butterfly.

 Wonderful displays of Bog Asphodel.


 There were two male Silver-studded Blues at this location: you can't miss it it is near the foxglove!

 A nice view of the South Downs and the "Long Man" above and unzoomed below.

 An unidentified moth: help please.


 A single male here.




 And a single male here.
 Cotton grass.
 This is a real bonus as conservation work for butterflies is good for other species as well.
 There are over a hundred Heath spotted orchids, Dactylorhiza maculata here; many already gone to seed leaving many plants in shade still flowering.



 This is the finest number of these orchids that I have ever seen in Sussex.  Nice one Silver-spotted Blue conservationists!


 There were dozens of tiny, newly emerged Small Red Damselfly tenerals.
This one appears to be eating a pollen beetle or similar insect.  Other Damselflies seen were, Large Red and Azure Blue.  Dragonflies included Broad-bodied chasers mating and egg laying; and an Emperor.  https://british-dragonflies.org.uk/sites/british-dragonflies.org.uk/files/images/GardenDragonflies_0.pdf

Two dogs were swimming after a ball thrown into the small ponds, stirring up the mud.  And if they have been treated for fleas, then the pond life insects may also now be wiped out.

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