Friday, 5 October 2012

Wall lizards and Large Whites

European Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis

  On Monday I saw some blue sky so went off to Mill Hill to do my last butterfly transect of the year. I saw only one Meadow Brown no doubt due to the wind and lack of sunshine.
  On Wednesday we had our first work party of the winter at Heyshott Escarpment. I joined Mark Colvin and 5 members of the Murray Downland Trust who organise this important work. We were clearing the slope of trees and shrubs to enable primroses,  foodplant of the Duke of Burgundy, to grow.

  Yesterday  was a very blue sky morning so I headed to Shoreham Beach to find the European Wall Lizards reported by Richard Roebuck on our Sussex BC sightings page. Mark was also curious to see these rare immigrants and joined me as I was photographing them. Apparently two subspecies of this lizard were released by a collector over 40 years ago and have thrived in one small  area. I didn’t see the emerald green subspecies. I saw one adult run fast towards a small juvenile which escaped by jumping off the vertical face of the wall it was clinging to. 
  There were quite a number of Large Whites on the Sea Kale, plus a Red Admiral which posed for me. It then headed towards the surf, landed again then took off and headed south over the sea about a foot above the slight swell.
  After a quick check at Mill Hill for Clouded Yellows we drove to the Bramber roundabout where a Clouded Yellow had flown in front of Mark’s vehicle earlier. We explored new territory but the CY remained elusive.
European Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis
European Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis

juvenile European Wall Lizard

Large White, female, Pieris brassicae on Sea kale.
Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
This is the Red admiral that flew south over the sea
Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
view from Heyshott Escarpment

Mill Hill
valley near Beeding Hill, Bramber
Comma, Polygonia c-album
Cow pat covered by burrows of a Dung beetle, Aphodius contaminatus 
Dung beetle, Aphodius contaminatus

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