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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Wisley Dragonflies, Bookham Hairstreaks, Denbies Hillside

We are now at the last few butterfly walks of 2014

The first walk was at Wisley looking for dragonflies.
 Southern Hawker
 Common Darter male
female Brown Hawker ovipositing
 The first Bookham Common Walk had a good turn out, and on the plains we found a female Brown Hairstreak flying around the blackthorn bushes, she rested on bracken for a few minutes for photos.
 The Denbies Hillside walk was also in sunny weather, and Autumn Ladies Tresses had just started to come up into flower.
 Brown Argus
 Two Clouded Yellow were also seen, the female above was looking to lay eggs
the male was resting in the herbage, and allowed close-up pictures.

Friday, 15 August 2014


Here is a picture from my butterfly house in the garden, the zebras set up a roost and return to it every night, at the moment they have 4 roosts, as they all cant fit on the main one.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Recent Walks and Outings

Its been a busy two weeks, with lots of outings and walks.
The first was at Reigate and Colley Hills at the end of July.
Butterfly Conservation Surrey Branch members looking for Silver Spotted Skippers
The Vale End walk was well attended as usual, several Clouded Yellows were seen flying fast over the grassland.
 A well worn Dark Green Fritillary was still hanging onto life, just.
 The find of the day a Silver Spotted Skipper, on the western limit of its Surrey distribution.
The following day was a bus outing to Eastbourne, just after the fire on the pier.
at Cow Gap a few Chalkhill Blues were on the grassland, five male Wall Browns were landing on bare ground. The highlight of the day a female Clouded Yellow.

The outing to Dawney Heath and Brookwood Cemetery was in good hot weather

The Railway West walk would have a very good surprise at the lunch spot. The walk up Beggars Lane gave a lovely Speckled Wood sighting.
 On White Downs, i suddenly shouted Grayling as one flew up from the path, this a chalk Grayling, which was the first chalk sighting since 1962, they were known from the downs until that date, this was a female so hopefully her offspring will give us more regular sightings in future years. So well hidden on the chalk soil.

The group then walked down the hillside to Denbies Carriageway.
After several days of bad weather, and just fitting my two butterfly transects in before the rain set in, a trip to Steyning Riffle Range, with Greenie, today, Wall Brown and about 6 Clouded Yellows were seen first. Then at noon 12.01 exactly a female Brown Hairstreak was seen low down near the blackthorn.

She posed for some nice pictures. The weather then turned to dull, then rain, so we headed home very pleased with the pictures.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Headley Heath, Chobham Common, Railway Journey East, Wimbledon Common

A round up of recent walks. A hot walk was at Headley Heath looking for Purple Emperors. At the chalk bank a few Silver Spotted Skippers were found, a second brood Dingy Skipper was flying with them.

At the top of the chalk valley a Purple Emperor flew past at the high point, Purple Hairstreaks were seen around several Oaks. At the Car Park a Purple Emperor was seen flying around the Treetops.

Wednesday a trip with Greenie to Chobham Common, we both missed the last Sundays walk due to other wildlife commitments. Grayling was found around the hump as usual. Silver Studded Blues were still hanging on on the heather.

We then visited the hillside further west of Denbies Hillside, no Clouded Yellows this time, On the area of White Downs we found areas with lots of Silver Spotted Skippers flying.

Thursday was the Great Railway Journey East, Dorking to Betchworth by train then walk back to Dorking. I started at Betchworth, so had to hang around for an hour, so i visited the area i found last year for Brown Hairstreak, and had sightings around the Blackthorn hedge and treetops. At the lunchstop at Brockham Quarry we had Purple Emperor again, a female Clouded Yellow flew past, after the climb lots of Chalkhill Blues and Silver Spotted Skippers on the Dukes slopes.

Sunday was Wimbledon Common walk, Purple Hairstreaks were down on the paths and feeding. Holly Blue was also photographed. After the walk had finished a few of us stayed on and found Ringlet and Small Copper.

A quick stop for lunch at Hutchinsons Bank, we added Marbled White, Small Skipper and Chalkhill Blue to the days sightings. A male Oak Egger moth was flying around the cutting, but we never found where the female was calling, but it must have been nearby.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Ashtead Common and Hutchinsons Bank Open Day

Thursdays walk on Ashtead Common was good for Purple Emperor, no trouble finding the females egglaying on the lower slopes. A few female Silver Washed Fritilllaries were also seen.

A male Speckled Wood was sunning itself on the edge of a track.

Sundays Hutchinsons Bank Open Day, was warm with some sunshine. Just before 11am i was looking for Hummingbird Hawk caterpillars, but disturbed a male Clouded Yellow, the first seen on site this year.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Bookham Common Purple Emperor

The Butterfly Conservation walk today at Bookham Common well attended by about 40 people, not many butterflies around, but White Admiral, Purple Hairstreak and Silver Washed Fritillary were all seen. At the Master trees, 2 Purple Emperors were seen flying around the treetops.

Later on 2 White Admirals were on the ground.

A female Red Admiral was looking close at the stinging nettles.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Silver Studded Blue and Recent Walks

A round up of recent trips and walks.
I managed to get close up shots of a rabbit at Hutchinsons Bank, we dont have many on site.

on Thursday a trip with Greenie to Fairmile Common for Silver-studded Blue. They were just emerging.

There was only one female seen, and about 50 males. In the last shot, this male has recently emerged and was being attended by ants, this one drinking from the abdomen of the butterfly.

A visit to Thursley, didnt give many butterflies, but Early Marsh Orchids were in flower, but not easily photographed. The white form was near the board walk, so i managed to get a few pictures.

Today a Walk at Hutchinsons Bank, was dull so not the usual number of butterflies to be seen. We did see a Common Emerald Moth, and the first Small Skipper, note the Orange tip to the antennae.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Man Orchid and Privet Hawk

I found my first Man Orchid on our reserves in many years while walking the Chapel Bank transect this morning.

At Hutchinsons Bank a few photographers were in the cutting, we found a few things of interest on the site

A Longhorn Beetle, and I found a male Privet Hawk Moth resting on a Hawthorn bush.
I also photographed the larva of the emperor moth.