On Thursday I decided on a visit to Old Lodge Reserve on Ashdown Forest , which was my first mistake of the day , as I can only compare the visit to one to the morgue in a hospital . It was so quiet in both song and visible interest , it was unbelievable . The only migrants found were 3 juvenile Common Redstart , that always kept a good distance in front of me as made my way up the gully from the bottom of the reserve . Keeping their distance in front too were 2 juvenile Green
I had hoped to post shots of the final butterfly to emerge for the year , the Brown Hairstreak , on this post , and have been watching Sussex sites , but very few have been seen , but Martin from Hutchinsons Bank had been on a Surrey Butterfly Conservation visit to Bookham Common , where they had found a fresh specimen , see Martin's shots , link on my side bar , 'Martin's Butterflies' . After two and a half hours slogging around a vast area of Blackthorn on the site in very humid conditions , Martin had a fleeting glimpse of one as it zipped over a Blackthorn bush , but that
top path , the first male Adonis Blues were found with a vibrant blue more vivid than their Common relation , and also sporting the broken white border which is not so on the Common Blue . The Chalkhill Blue population was well down on previous visits , but many mating pairs were still found . Another Clouded Yellow was found on the top path , and another 4 in a field further along the track
at the bottom , making it 7 on the day . Down on the grassland , a moth flew by me and once settled ,
was able to identify it as Clouded Buff , a species that I have found it here in previous years . We also started to find good numbers of Silver-spotted Skippers , including several courting couples , where
the male stayed very close to the female including during flight . But , it did make these fast flying butterflies a bit easier to follow in flight , and before long the inevitable happened when they
coupled . I offered this pair my finger , which they readily accepted , but getting them to get off after getting some shots was a different matter , as they seemed quite happy doing what comes naturally exactly where they were . As we headed back to the car , the sun was all but gone and most butterflies had gone to roost . Heading home and hoping to join the M25 at Reigate , plans were thrown into disarray when we found the onslip being shut off due to a caravan on fire between Jct.8 and 7 , and gridlock in the surrounding area . Fortunately , Martin knew an alternative route along back lanes , and once we got away from the immediate jam , we made good time back . I knew Martin bred tropical butterflies in his back garden , and when he asked if I would like to see them , I jumped at the opportunity . A most enjoyable half hour followed in his butterfly house / greenhouse , and he has allowed me to post a few shots of what was on show . He did mention Latin names , but there was no way I could remember them , I can't remember my own sometimes .
Naturally enough , 'Tiger' was somewhere in this ones name ,
this was a male 'Zebra' ,
and this the female of the same species , with a hint of orange in her white stripes ,
the first of two consecutive shots of a female Zebra , egglaying almost under my nose ,
and the second , a split second later , as she flew off having layed her egg ,
and finally , a species with 'Postman' in it's name .
That's me up to date , will post again when I find some new interest .