Wednesday 22 September 2010

Kithurst and Chantry Hills

Rough Hawksbeard Crepis vesicaria
Bea and Sue joined me in a butterfly hunt to tick off two more tetrads for the Sussex Butterfly Survey 2010-14. We first stopped at Kithurst Hill and headed down a path into one of the one kilometre survey areas. At first only Small Whites were seen and then Bea spotted an orange butterfly. We spent some time looking for it and then continued down the path. I stopped frequently to enjoy the fat juicy blackberries. On the way back the orange butterfly was seen again and it flew up into an ash. Then it flew across the field and its black underside was noted, so it was identified as a Comma. I also saw a Speckled Wood.
Small White
big juicy blackberries

Greater Knapweed Centaurea scabiosa
Small White laying egg
a sign of Autumn
some brambles are still in flower
Common  Toadflax Linaria vulgaris
Common Field-speedwell Veronica persica
Scarlet pimpernel Anagallis arvensis
 Wild Basil Clinopodium vulgare (+ below)

I spotted an excellent area for Brown Hairstreaks next year, huge ashes next to a large stand of blackthorn (TQ06801216)

We had another great lunch at The George & Dragon, Houghton. Bea and shared a ploughman’s and Sue had a goat’s cheese tart, followed by apple crumble and ice cream.

Our second stop was Chantry Hill. We headed down a path in our tetrad and eventually found a Small White, which ticked the box. A few more were seen near the car park.
This Small White was very dark and looked different. The photo shows it has very dark markings and extra black patterns at the rear of both forewings. This must be an aberrant form of the butterfly.

Rough Hawksbeard Crepis vesicaria
White Dead-nettle Lamium album
We saw several gliders were being towed

Bea photographing a poppy
Long-headed Poppy Papaver dubium
Pheasants were everywhere today, many in large groups. Do they know the end is nigh - from October 1st they will be falling out of the skies. They must be the easiest game bird to shoot as they fly in straight lines. I worked on a pheasant farm and grouse shooting estate in the Scottish Highlands in my student days in the late 60’s. I formed the opinion that the term ‘bird-brained’ was based upon the pheasant’s behaviour.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant pics today - the clarity is amazing. I felt like picking the big juicy backberries and eating them, myself !


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