Stuck indoors today with a temperature only half of what it was Saturday and pouring with rain , so a chance to look back on a couple of recent visits .
The slope below Biggin Hill airport produced a 50-50 split male to female Chalkhill Blues , 5 Brown
A visit up on the Downs in not the best conditions found Chalkhill Blue numbers well down on previous years , but surprisingly , Brown Argus numbers on par with Common Blue , they certainly seem to have had a very good season . On the way around , I found another female Roesel's Bush-
Arriving home , Carol told me that there had been a large dragonfly around the pond all afternoon , so
Fellow enthusiast Keith and myself , have been waiting for an opportunity to search for Brown Hairstreaks , and on Saturday we headed off to the River Mole , South of Gatwick Airport , as unfortunately the species isn't recorded in Kent , although I know of some sightings just over the border in Surrey . We arrived about 0900 with the temperature already in the low 20s C , and within 10 minutes had the first of 8/10 sightings . Great , but they were all around the tops of trees or non-stop fly-byes . We checked large areas of Blackthorn and a nearby meadow but we didn't have a single sighting down low . By midday it was clear that we had failed and decided to move to another site , around the old railway station at West Grinstead , now part of the Downs Link , a great area for walkers and cyclists , and being a sunny day , had attracted both in number . We decided to walk North , checking the Blackthorn bushes which line both sides of the path . We checked a large meadow , full of Common Fleabane and other nectar rich plants , but only found a Brimstone , a few Meadow Brown and a couple of Brown Argus . Fortunately , some parts were shaded by the trees on either side almost forming a tunnel which gave some relief from the sun . Butterflies here too were few and far between , but a flash of orange disappearing into the shade proved to be our first Brown Hairstreak of the day , a female that was egg laying deep in the vegetation . Within a short space of time a wave of cyclists came by and spooked her . Keith went to investigate another meadow whilst I carried on down the track , finding another female BH , and in a more photographical position , on
And finally , on the 18th . , there was a commemoration flight by 25+ Spitfires and Hurricanes that
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