Thursday, 29 July 2010

Grayling and Chalkhill Blues at Windover Hill

Grayling, Hipparchia semele
After taking Aunt Bea back to Eastbourne I visited Windover Hill for the Grayling. These butterflies are only seen with wings closed, normally on paths on chalk downland.
It was a cool day with sun bursts occasionally. Chalkhill Blues were everywhere, mostly males, I must have seen hundreds.
male Chalkhill Blue
female Chalkhill Blue, Lysandra coridon
female Chalkhill Blue
There were dozens of Gatekeepers on the brambles and prunus bushes, many Marble Whites and Meadow Browns, some Small Skippers, Large Whites, Small Coppers, Small Blues, Small Heaths and the final prize, a Grayling (top)
female Meadow Brown, Maniola jurtina
Large White, Pieris brassicae
Small Skipper, Thymelicus sylvestris
Yellow Pearl, Mecyna flavalis
There were many small yellow moths called Mecyna flavalis which are scarce and confined to chalk downland.
Six-spot Burnet, Zygaena filipendulae
Six Spot Burnets were everywhere
Six-spot Burnets mating, Zygaena filipendulae
this pair were resting on an old pupa
A pair of kestrels patrolled the valley and swooped down near the prunus bushes.
There were many grasshopers

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