Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Violet Helleborines and Painted Ladies

On Sunday another sunny day sent me to Mill Hill to do my butterfly transect with the following result:  Adonis Blue 82, Brimstone 1, Holly Blue 2, Large white 4, Meadow Brown 134, Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 2, Small Heath 10, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Small White 10, Speckled Wood 2. Numbers are dropping so Autumn must be approaching.

I then stopped at the chalk pit on Bostal Lane, Steyning and found Red Admirals, a Small Tortoiseshell and a Painted Lady on the buddleia. Steyning Downland reserve was my next call to look for Brown Hairstreaks. I arrived later than usual and was not expecting a result. After checking the main reserve I went up the hill and checked the blackthorn there. At 2:10pm I was enjoying the last part of my packed lunch when a Brown Hairstreak landed in front of me in exactly the same place as a previous appearance. Unfortunately it was in the shade and flew off after a few shots. A Painted Lady put in an appearance.

Finally I visited a local wood where a large buddleia had 6 Red Admiral, a Comma and a Painted Lady. Finally I took photos using macro/flash of the Viollet Helleborines and caught some flies crawling over the flowers.

It was interesting to see Painted Ladies at all four sites I visited.

Mill Hill:
Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae

Yellow Shell, Camptogramma bilineata
I think this is a Yellow Shell, the colour is atypical but the pattern is right and this moth's colour can vary.
Steyning chalk pit:

Small Tortoiseshel and Red Admiral
Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
A pair of Kestrels were hunting together next to the chalk pit.
Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
Painted Lady, Cynthia cardui
Painted Lady, Cynthia cardui
Steyning Downland:
Brown Hairstreak, Thecla betulae

Garden Spider, Araneus diadematus
Rewell Wood:
Violet Helleborine, Epipactis purpurata with fruit flies

Violet Helleborine, Epipactis purpurata

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