Sunday, 14 August 2011

Grayling Fest

Grayling on Thistle
On Friday I visited Steyning Rifle Range to check out Brown Hairstreaks and met Neil, but no BHs.
Azure Damselfly
On Saturday I took Bea to Brighton, then went on to Windover Hill to hunt for the Grayling and Silver-spotted Skipper. This turned into a Grayling Festival as they were all over the south facing slope, together with a few Silver-spotted Skippers and a lone Adonis Blue. The Grayling is a master of disguise. The only way to spot it is by seeing it in flight, when the orange parts of its upper wing show very well. When it is disturbed it flashes its eyespot wing pattern to frighten a predator. In flight the Grayling reminds me of a Kestrel as it hovers around. There were a pair of Kestrels hunting in the valley. A bonus was a flight of WW2 planes from the Eastbourne Air Show: a Lancaster, a Spitfire and a Hurricane, plus the Red Arrows. There were plenty of Chalkhill Blues, but these were mostly worn specimens.
worn Chalkhill Blue
day flying moth - Mecyna flavalis
Thanks to Michael B for the id. He advises this moth can be very common on Windover Hill and at Porton Down, Wiltshire but rare in between:
Same moth, Mecyna flavalis, different colour
The Grayling is a master of camouflage
Silver-spotted Skippers
Wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe 
Wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe 
Chalkhill Blues
Silver-spotted sKipper
fly past
eyespot showing on a Grayling
rad mites on Grayling
The Red Arrows

Adonis Blue
Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster
Sermylassa halensis, a tiny beetle 6mm long
I spotted this beetle by a Grayling. It is a Leaf Beetle (Chrysomelidae), one of the largest beetle families.
Silver-spotted Skipper

1 comment:

  1. Red arrows, I think Meshershmidts(?) and a trio of the amazing Lancaster, workhorse Hurricane and the incredible Spitfire in the same shot?

    You must be paying them Colin, you really must. Amazing.

    And thanks again for all you hospitality last week.

    We both hope Sue is feeling a little better after Arthur's latest attack.

    D and G x

    p.s. Wawas (well, Gabi's now I suppose) D40 is winging it's way toward Blighty as we speak.


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