Sunday 31 July 2011

Steyning and SusSAR

Old Rifle Range at Steyning
On Thursday morning I visited Steyning again to hut for the elusive Brown Hairstreak. Once again I met other enthusiasts on the same mission, The weather was perfect, but no sign of the elusive creature.
Speckled Wood
after editing with new Photoshop Elements software
Red Admiral


mating Gatekeepers
Slow worm

During the afternoon I received a call-out from SusSAR for an elderly lady who was missing from South Harting Village: This turned into a 3 day event with Search and Recovery units, Search Dog units and Neighbourhood Watch teams from Southern England turning out. I worked with a Search Dog unit and a Neighbourhood Watch team for the first time, an interesting experience. The lady was thankfully found on Saturday safe and well on a  road by a police patrol car 2 miles from the village.
Deer at the corner of  one of the fields we searched

Thursday 28 July 2011

RIP Ralph

We heard this week that a good friend passed away on July 20. Ralph was a good person and an intellectual giant. We worked together for many years on IT projects in the Materials Planning & Systems Department and enjoyed being a team. Sue and I spent many happy hours in Ralph's company and our sympathy goes to Marie-Claire whose loss is greatest.

Holly Blue at Steyning

Holly Blue on Valerian
Yesterday afternoon I visited Steyning as reports on the BC-Sussex site were coming in of Brown Hairstreaks emerging in Sussex. A cyclist asked me what was attracting photographers as there were several at the site earlier in the day. Although I didn’t find a Brown Hairstreak, I did come across a very obliging Holly Blue nectaring on Valerian on the northwest end of the upper slope. There were many Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns plus Peacocks, Red Admirals, a Wall, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood and Common Blue. I also found a glistening slow-worm.
Gatekeeper on Ragwort
Red Admiral on Teasel
Meadow Brown on Bramble
Meadow Brown
Holly Blue
Holly Blue taking-off
Green-veined White
Green-veined White taking off
Green-veined white

Oedemera nobilis beetle
Seven-spot Ladybird
Pyrausta aurata moth

Monday 25 July 2011

Windover Grayling and Chalkhills

male Chalkhill Blue on chalk
On Saturday after taking Sue and Jean to The Brighton Centre I went to the Paramo shop in Wadhurst to check out their rainproof outdoor wear and ordered a pair of trousers and gaiters. Then I headed to Windover Hill to try to find a Grayling. I asked a lady coming off the path with her dog if she had seen many butterflies. “I haven’t seen any“ she replied. I immediately spotted Chalkhill Blues everywhere, which indicates that if you are not looking for them you won’t see them. The views are amazing, the sea was a lovely blue. Arlington Reservoir and a White Horse were clearly visible.
I saw hundreds of Chalkhill Blues during the morning, including mating pairs plus Meadow Browns, a Small Copper and a pair of mating Six-spot Burnet moths. I also spotted 4 Dark Green Fritillaries, 3 of which zoomed along without stopping. My target species, the Grayling, proved elusive, but I finally spotted one in the grass. He landed, then as I peered to make him out, he rose up and was gone. I managed to recognise its pattern, but its camouflage is so good I lost sight of it very quickly.
male Chalkhill Blue
mating Chalkhill Blues
female Chalkhill Blue
mating Six-spot Burnet moths
view to the sea
view to Arlington Reservoir
Small Copper taking off
Small Copper
view to the sea and Whitehorse
unknown moth
male Chalkhill Blue
male Chalkhill Blue
male Chalkhill Blue
Stonechat, Saxicola torquata, juvenile female?
male Chalkhill Blues taking the salts
male Chalkhill Blue
unknown flower
female Chalkhill Blue
Common Blue
Common Blue
Dark Green Fritillary
female Chalkhill Blue
Afterward this enjoyable walk I visited the Newhaven Reserve where there were few butterflies but plenty of flowers, a ground beetle and two lizards.
Scentless Mayweed Tripleurospermum inodorum

Mallow, Malva sylvestris
Bloody Nosed Beetle Timarcha tenebricosa
Violet Ground Beetles Carabus violaceus
Sweet pea
Common Lizard

Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
Common Evening-Primrose Oenorthera biennis 
Viper's Bugloss Echium vulgare 
unknown flower