Yet again , I've got it wrong . Many thenks to Gregg for identifying the above as a solitary wasp Cerceris rybyensis . The annoying thing is that I thought I was spot on this time !
On a lower track , I found this pellet , which I put on the stone to photograph . It contained snail shells and lots of other debris , possibly that of a Little Owl ? Even Chalkhill Blue numbers were well reduced , but there is still time to find a mate . At the bottom of the hillside , for the second time running , I found a second brood Dingy Skipper . Typical , never found a second brood before , now two this year .
Also at the bottom of the hillside , were good numbers of Swallows and in amongst them , a smattering of House Martins , one pictured .
Carrion Crows were the largest bird species seen after the Hirondines , but Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were also seen . The star of the day though , was a juvenile/female Common Redstart which I put up from the scrub . I've never seen them here before , so would assume that they were just passing through on passage . I hung about hoping that it would pose for a shot , but it wasn't seen again , unfortunately .
By lunchtime , a lot of family and walking groups were trekking across the hillside , so I decided to move on , even though the cloud was increasing .
My other stop was a large area of Blackthorn bushes , down near Gatwick Airport . On my last visit here , I found a single pristine male Brown Hairstreak . Within 10 metres of where I had photographed that male , I found this not at all pristine female , looking as if she has been the object of several bird attacks .Shortly after she flew off , I found another female , a Southern Hawker this time , on the nearby Brambles .Also on the Brambles was this Speckled Wood .
Having been walking all day , I was about ready to leave the second site , but decided to have a look at an area near the road . A movement in the vegetation revealed a second female Brown Hairstreak . This one was resting for a while , before returning to young Blackthorn shoots , deep in the vegetation , to lay her eggs . I watched her for 10/15 minutes , with the sound of aircraft lading and taking off , within about 1/4 of a mile from where I was standing .