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

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Chichester’s arty side

I took Bea to Chichester for a shop so we went our separate ways, kept meeting up by chance, and finally met by design at the Bishop’s Kitchen by the Cathedral where an exhibition by the Southern Ceramic Group was showing.
We liked the work by guest artist Kate Hackett.

There were plenty of photo opportunities in the Cathedral area:
After an excellent light lunch at the Pallant Gallery (bubble & squeak with fried egg), we called in at The Oxmarket Centre of Arts, St Andrews Court and enjoyed one of the artists in the current exhibition, Frances Knight, who really appreciates light as seen in 
"Crillon Le Brave an Mt Ventoux late afternoon 2" in Provence:
Frances will be showing in the Arundel gallery trail 20-30th August, 2010.

We also bought some note cards from another artist, Tricia Baldwin.
Left and right side of Pallant Gallery entrance in brown ceramics

Front of Oxmarket Centre of Arts

Sunday 25 July 2010

South Harting butterflies

On Saturday I joined a very enjoyable walk led by Michael and Clare at South Harting . Tom found some Essex Skippers for us among the Small Skippers and also a tall Wych Elm with resident White-letter Hairstreaks. We spent 30 minutes watching the tree top waiting for the next sun burst between clouds. Every time the sun shone through the little fellas would fly up and a spiralling pair would argue about territory.
male Silver-washed Fritillary with Brown Argus
 female Silver-washed Fritillary
A pair of Silver-washed Fritillaries spiralled in a courtship dance. While they were resting I took a photo of the male and only noticed later that a Brown Argus had appeared in flight beside it. 
A hover fly also pestered a resting Common Blue. A couple of dozen species were recorded during the day:
 Large White
Red Admiral
Small Skipper
Large Skipper

Deadly Nightshade
View of the Isle of Wight

This morning we had a club dig near Findon. Good weather with slight shower in the morning. 
A stubble field produced nothing, and a pasture field provided a very worn  1890 Victoria halfpenny and a 1919 Penny in excellent condition. 
There were Cinnabar moth larvae on the Ragworts.