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

1 comment:

  1. Hi Colin,

    Excellent blog. The Chalkhill Blues just are stunning Butterflies. Great mix of wildlife and nautre. Nice to see we have this in common. Keep up the good work. John


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