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Friday, 23 August 2013

Denbies Hillside

After Wednesdays walk we called in at Denbies Hillside and saw Adonis Blues, so Today we returned to Bookham Common to try and see Brown Hairstreak again, apart from a brief glimpse as one shot over the Blackthorn bushes, we were unlucky this time. Two female Clouded Yellows were seen in the same area. A Couple of well worn Silver-washed Fritillaries were still flying.

After a few hours we went onto Denbies again, and managed to photograph Adonis Blue and Silver-spotted Skippers, a pair this time. 5 Clouded Yellows were seen on the hillside today.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Bookham Common

The last Surrey Butterfly Conservation walk of the year, for Brown Hairstreak at Bookham Common, where i have only had a brief view of one last year. The day started on the M25, just after the slip road at junction 9 a crew change was needed, then onto Bookham Common. The waiting party were looking around the car park, and had good views of Purple Hairstreak and a Clouded Yellow shot past. Over the Railway footbridge, into the Blackthorn area. A few minutes a Brown Hairstreak was seen by Joan and myself, I managed to get the following pictures.

It then flew into the low scrub and laid an egg on the low blackthorn branch, before it flew off, before many of the other walkers had a good view of it. Silver-washed Fritiilary and Purple Hairstreak were seen later on the walk.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Denbies Hillside

Sundays walk on Denbies Hillside, started on the upper slopes, in fine rain, plenty of Chalkhill Blues flying and pairing everywhere. A Dark Green Fritillary was feeding on a thistle.

Along the track a Silver-Spotted Skipper was warming up in a sunny spot.

Male Chalkhill Blues were feeding on dung.

We walked down the hillside, had our lunch, then walked to the spot where we had the Clouded Yellows on Saturday. When the sun re-appeared 3 Clouded Yellows were spotted, feeding on the Ragwort flowerheads. We then walked along the bottom track, and back up the steps up the steep slope back to the car park. We stopped off at Hutchinsons Bank again on the way home. 3 more Clouded Yellows were seen along the cutting. A Silver-Washed Fritillary was seen along the Bridleway.

Back along the cutting 2 Clouded Yellows were sitting in the scrape, where they seem to rest.

Its Hutchinsons Bank transect day tomorrow, so more Clouded Yellows should be seen again.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Great Train Journey East & West 2013

The two train journeys were both held this year is reasonable weather, the East one was very hot, on one of the hottest days of the year. A Red Admiral was seen on a fence post, on the walk up to Brockham Lime Works.

The normal grassland butterflies were seen on the grassland patch around the tower.

Silver-Washed Fritillaries were seen in the small meadow, on the climb upto the quarry.

Plenty of Dark Green Fritillaries were flying around the quarry.

The long climb upto Box Hill gave us more sightings of Dark Green Fritillary, but the Silver-Spotted Skippers were yet to emerge.

The West Journey was a few weeks later, which was an advantage this year. Plenty of Whites were found on the track upto Hackhurst Downs.

Chalkhill Blue and Silver-Washed Fritillary were the star species at Hackhurst. At the Buddleia at the top of the downs, 5 Silver-Washed Fritillaries were feeding, a White Admiral shot past, landed on a thistle for a few seconds, then flew off.

A Holly Blue was resting in a Birch tree. A walk onto the grassland provided sightings of Silver-Spotted Skipper egglaying. 

The drop down the famous hillside that was in EB Fords Butterflies, to the bottom trackway. 3 Clouded Yellows were flying around a recent cleared area. Several people on the walk hadnt seen one this year, so were chasing them up the hillside to get a better view.

A Dark Green Fritillary was in the same area as the Clouded Yellows, we them walked along the bottom track below Denbies Hillside to Dorking. Plenty of Chalkhill Blues along the way. More on Denbies tomorrow, as there is another walk there.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Dawney Hill & Brookwood Cemetery 2013

A second visit to Dawney Hill, for Grayling. A walk into Brookwood Cemetery, the flower bed of echinacea provided food for many Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper. We left the cemetery for Dawney Hill, Where we were surprised to find a Chalkhill Blue, flying amongst the Silver-Studded Blues and Graylings.

After a few pictures, i tried to get a picture of a Grayling upperside, using the method that has prooved very successful with Clouded Yellows, Graylings seem to be a bit faster at taking off but here is the best attempt.

Back on the echinacea patch a grayling was also now feeding, when a shout of Clouded Yellow was made, a female was flying and settled nearby. When everybody had finished takinng pictures i tried for a record uppperside shot.

At the lunch spot, a male Clouded Yellow shot past, Silver-Washed Fritillaries and Smalll Coppers were in the grassland, feeding on fleabane and buddleia. At another Buddleia thicket a Painted Lady was seen, and another Chalkhill Blue and Grayling were feeding on Buddleia.

At Hutchinsons Bank, on the way home a male Clouded Yellow was still flying in the cutting at 6pm. The Train Journey on Saturday should proove interesting this year, hopefullly a few more Clouded Yellows and hopefullly a helice form of the female.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

White Letter Hairstreak & Clouded Yellow 3

An early morning trip to High Elms Bromley with Greenie, was great as we had many White Letter Hairstreaks feeding on the Golden Rod. Silver-Washed Fritillaries, Peacock were also feeding in profusion.

After an hour or so we moved back to Hutchinsons Bank for Clouded Yellows again, hoping for a female or two, this time. At least two males were patrolling along the cutting, we decided to walk up to the flowery mmeadow above, and found a female feeding, it was moving back towards the cutting, and another female was also seen at the top of the steps down to the cutting, it was moving ahead of us, and turned into the cutting. Before not to long it met a male coming the other way, and was pairing within seconds. I left the camera running and went further along the cutting, only to have a male fly around the first pair, [see sequence below]

after a few seconds if shot off and found the second female, which was now at the end of the cutting, so now there were 2 pairs. Another male, was seen while the 4 were still pairing, and another female slightly later, but before the 2 pairs split up. In all a great day.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Merrow/Pewley Downs

Butterfly Conservations walk today over the downs south of Guildford.
 A Small Copper was seen on Ragwort at the begining of the walk.
 Holly Blue was seen nectaring onn bramble along a hedgerow between two horse fields.
 Just before the main Pewley Downs, female Chalkhill Blues were using an field.
 Over lunch i filmed a female Small White that was feeding on Marjoram.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Hutchinsons Bank Clouded Yellows Part2

We had at least 10 male Clouded Yellows along the cutting at Hutchinsons Bank today, 5 were seen at once at one point. When not flying about feeding they were resting in the chalk scrapes.
Monday, there were 2 males along the cutting, and Tuesday, 2 different males along the cutting at 4pm.