Friday, 15 August 2008

Friday 15th.August 2008

How nice to have sunshine and little wind . My day started with a quick visit to the Common .
Still plenty of activity , but 15ft.+ , no good for photographs . My estimate of Purple Hairstreaks seen - 15/20 .

Fackenden Down was my next visit , arriving about 0945 , still cool , with morning dampness where the sun had not yet reached . I was welcomed by a family of Blackcaps , which was nice .
Given the time of day , and time of year , a count of 3 Adders and 18 Slow Worms was not too bad . All the Adders were at the 'hot spot' , one on the tin and two under it . As I set the camera , I missed the male on top , and in my desperation , got it all wrong when I lifted the tin , and the following is the result . The only record is of one female (lighter) and one male - without heads !
Butterflies did better , with Brown Argus showing very well . This male (fresher of the two) and female were doing the old 'will they , won't they' routine for several minutes , then both went off in their separate directions . One resident was taking full advantage of the sunshine , and did not hear my approach . Still good numbers of Six Spot Burnet moths about , and some were making sure that there would be good numbers next year as well . This Meadow Brown had a hitch-hicker on it's back , a Red Mite . The full butterfly count was - Speckled Wood (1) , Small White (2) , Chalkhill Blue (133) , Meadow Brown (150+ incl. mating pair) , Gatekeeper (8) , Brown Argus (11) , Common Blue (14) , Large White (6) and Small Copper (1) .

My next stop was White Hill . Chalkhill Blue numbers were down on last visit , but still good . I found five mating pairs , and good numbers of females , which bodes good for next year . The full count was - Chalkhill Blue (200+ incl.5 mating pairs) , Brimstone (2) , Small White (3) , Large White (9) , Common Blue (3) , Speckled Wood (1) , Gatekeeper (4) , Brown Argus (1) ,and Holly Blue (1) . The Devil's Bit Scabious is in various stages of flower , and starting to give some parts
of the hill a purple hue .

Next stop was near Eynesford to see if the Green-flowered Helleborine had come into flower . Well , they had , but I wonder if flowering is the right word . But good to see them doing so well , thanks John for the information .

My last stop of the day was High Elms Country Park , to check up on the White letter Hairstreaks and the Silver Washed Fritillaries . I was a bit late for the WLH , but did find one really ragged , and two reasonable individuals . The SWF are still on the wing , and still ovipositing . I found 3 males and three females , two of the females still ovipositing . Holly Blues were showing well , and this female ( broad dark makings on wing) , was happy to pose for a photo .
As a treat , I have posted a group of Gulls flying over Fackenden Down for one blogger , and for another , an aircraft that flew over whilst I was at High Elms - hope my memory is working properly , enjoy John .


Steve said...

Great to see the WLH still about Fred.

Kingsdowner said...

Are the Green Flowered Helleborines accessible? I hope to be near Eynesford this week.

Greenie said...

Kingsdowner ,
Drop me an email on re Helleborines.