Silver-studded Blue

Silver-studded Blue
Silver-studded Blue, Iping Common

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Mill Hill, Shoreham

Male Chalkhill Blue Lysandra coridon

Male Adonis Blue Lysandra bellargus
Peacock Inachis io

A superb walk around Mill Hill in the sunshine (well intermittent!); highlight being first Chalkhill Blues of the year - at least 8 males and 3 females. Also, and a bit of a surprise 1, possibly 2 Male Adonis Blue. Saw my first Peacocks of the year as well (at least 4), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Comma (1), Red Admiral (1), numerous Small and Large Whites and many Gatekeepers, one Wall, and a handful of Meadow Browns.

2 Peregrines calling overhead was another bonus.

After watching Born to be Wild on BBC4 I thought I'd test out whether you really can persuade a butterfly to sit on your finger - amazingly it worked!

Male Chalkhill Blue Lysandra coridon on my hand!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Nothing to chalk of so to speak

No sign of any Chalkhill Blues at Mill Hill today on a very brief sortie around the site - less than 20 minutes!

Did see one female blue species on Northern edge of South-western slope but was too flighty to confirm id - soon disappeared off over hedgerow. I expect it was a Common Blue.

Also seen were 3-4 Red Admirals and numerous Gatekeepers along the top path. A few Meadow Browns, White Sp. and a Small Tortoiseshell.

A close up shot of a Gatekeepers eye and a thermal-imaging/Andy Warhol style image, again of a Gatekeeper - the latter was created by accident. Bit crazy but I quite like it. Not sure if I know how to recreate mind!

Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

Sunday, 10 July 2011

That one little letter...

Joined the Sussex Butterfly Group 'White Letter Hairstreak' walk up at Hollingbury this afternoon - having 'dipped' on this species a few times on previous occasions I wasn't too hopeful, but if I was ever going to see one I thought this would be my best chance. After 45 minutes or so I was starting to think the former might run true again but then, there she (or he?) was, a 'little dark triangle' silouetted against the sky - on, surprisingly not an elm but a walnut tree! Then lower down another - this time we were afforded much closer views of this enigmatic little butterfly. A second was seen soon after - so at least 2, maybe 3 in total and even a few photos to boot - though the stiff breeze didn't help. A good hour and half 'butterflying'. Other species seen today, included Small White, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, and Comma (and Red Admiral and Marbled White by the group). Thanks to Caroline for leading the walk and helping spot this ever so hard to see species!


White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Large Blue and Bob Eade on Countryfile

I was fascinated by the Large Blue article on Countryfile tonight - great to see them doing so well in the Cotswolds. Did anyone else notice they showcased one of Bob Eade's photos?! A great shot of two Fritillaries (Heath?) I believe.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Mill Hill

With the aim to test out my new Sigma 105mm EX DG macro lens, I took a brief afternoon stroll around Mill Hill today. Although there were surprisingly few butteflies on wing, I was pleased to see my first Gatekeepers of the year (4). Other species seen included: Meadow Brown (6), Marbled White (4), Red Admiral (2), Small Heath (5), and a few unidentified White Species (3).I also saw some Cinnabar moth caterpillars, a Red-tailed Bumble Bee and lots of Common Soldier Beetles.

See below for some test shots; quite pleased with the detail captured, even if the butterflies were proving difficult to photograph.

Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus