the side of the refugia .Fortunately , I was down wind of her , if she had scented me , she would have been off . Slowly but surely , she came further out , flicking her tongue out at frequent
intervals . When she was happy that she was not in danger , she draped herself behind the
corrugated tin , and enjoyed the sunshine , as I did watching her . Only 2 other Adders were recorded today , one , a young male , in a similar position behind a refugia , and the other , a sub adult male , together with 5 Slow Worms , all under the same piece of roofing felt . The Slow Worms stayed put , but he was off like a rocket . In all , 18 Slow Worms were recorded .
I know I've posted several 6 Spot Burnet moths recently , but I just couldn't resist this one , 6 x 6 Spot Burnet moths on the same Greater Knapweed flower . What was so special about this particular flower , I just don't know .
After finding the first last visit , I didn't find any on this , until two thirds of the way round , and then it was just a singleton . The books say early July , and with that hot week , I was expecting to see many more .
11 species of butterfly were recorded , in low numbers , including a very fresh Peacock that did not want to be photographed , and a mating pair of Ringlets . Birds of interest seen/heard , include Yellowhammer , Chiffchaff and Green Woodpecker .
I then moved on up the lane to White Hill , a chalk grassland site managed by Butterfly Conservation (Kent) . Things were quiet here too , so , apart from the odd Chalkhill Blue and Large White , I found myself looking at some of the wildflowers in bloom . A very common plant ,
but a good source of nectar at the moment is Self-heal , another member of the large Labiate family . It was once thought to have medicinal properties , curing people , without the help of a doctor , hence it's common name . Another Labiate , and very often found on ant hills that Rabbits use as loos , is Wild Thyme . Whilst on site , I recorded 8 species of butterfly , including 8 Chalkhill Blues , my first on the site this year . Only birds of interest were a pair of Sparrowhawks , heard and seen above the woods , at the top of the bank .
I hadn't intended to , but on the way home , I stopped off at Lullingstone , and headed straight for the Orchid Bank , in the middle of the golf course . Not this time for the orchids , but for a probable last look for Dark Green Fritillaries . I saw them when they were fresh , just emerged , but time and aerial battles have reduced that initial vibrancy of colour . It was still very windy , and most were tucked up in the long grass . The males that I saw were ragged , but the larger females , still looked very smart . Difficult to give an accurate number seen , because of the conditions , but my conservative estimate would be 25/30 . A good proportion of those were females , and several of them were egg laying , at the base of the vegetation , unworried by the conditions above . I follow one particular female , and when she got settled , I was able to get close and watch her in action . In this shot , her abdomen can be seen , reaching down into the vegetation , and laying her eggs onto , or close to Violets , the foodplant of her young .
A lot of the flowers have gone over on the bank already , but one of the late bloomers is the Harebell , a member of the Bellflower family .