Silver-studded Blue

Silver-studded Blue
Silver-studded Blue, Iping Common

Monday, 29 August 2011

Steyning Picnic

Whilst on a family walk and picnic up at Steyning Rifle Range, 1 obliging Female Brown Hairstreak fluttered down from the canopy and gave good views (wings open) to the small group of observers present. Looked like she also laid an egg.

Sunday, 21 August 2011


Finally caught up with the Brown Hairstreaks at Steyning today - headed up nice and early (around 9am) and saw a good number of active butterflies high in the treetops, including a pair dogfighting; however, I later discovered 11:15 - 2 is the best time to see them low down so appears I probably peaked a bit too early! Nonetheless I hung around and meet up with Neil and the group he was leading at 10:45. Within 20 minutes or so, someone had spotted one low down, although with half a wing missing, then another, and another. The latter one posing obiliging (and egglaying) for the mass of butterfly enthusiasts who had descending on this small patch of Sussex Countryside in the hope of glimpsing this special little creature. Went home pleased although a splitting headache put a dampner on the rest of the day!

Yesterday (20th August) at Windover Hill, no Grayling despite my best efforts to turn any of the numerous Meadow Browns into one(!); however, a handful of very worn Chalkhill Blues, One Red Admiral and one Silver-spotted Skipper was some compensate.

At Exceat Farmhouse, one Comma and one Holly Blue in the car park.

Please click on the photos to view and click again to zoom in.

Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae

Sussex year list so far

Here is my current list for 2011, amazingly I forgot Small Copper from the list so it now stands at 39/45 Sussex species (bold denote new species). Maybe a Clouded Yellow or Painted Lady will fly my way to make it a nice number!

List so far, alphabetically

1. Adonis blue
2. Brimstone
3. Brown Argus
4. Brown Hairstreak
5. Chalkhill Blue
6. Comma
7. Common Blue
8. Dark Green Fritillary
9. Dingy Skipper
10. Duke of Burgundy
11. Gatekeeper
12. Green Hairstreak
13. Green-veined White
14. Grizzled Skipper
15. Holly Blue
16. Large Skipper
17. Large White
18. Marbled White
19. Meadow Brown
20. Orange Tip
21. Peacock
22. Purple Emperor
23. Purple Hairstreak
24. Red Admiral
25. Ringlet 
26. Silver-spotted Skipper
27. Silver-studded Blue
28. Silver-washed Fritillary
29. Small Blue
30. Small Copper
31. Small Heath
32. Small Pear-bordered Fritillary
33. Small Skipper
34. Small Tortoiseshell
35. Small White
36. Speckled Wood
37. Wall Brown
38. White Admiral
39. White-letter Hairstreak

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Cissbury Ring

Despite the wind, there was a good selection of Butterflies to be seen in and around Cissbury Ring this afternoon. Photography was proving difficult though, especially with a toddler on my back!

Highlight being a good number of Chalkhill Blue; most were hulking down in the vegetation to avoid the wind. Also seen were at least 3 Small Coppers, including 1 very tatty specimen, a handful of Red Admirals, 1 Brimstone, 1 Common Blue, and numerous Meadow Browns and Small Heaths.

Chalkhill Blue Lysandra coridon

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Malling Down

Though the partially overcast conditions and breeze kept the numbers to a minimum a good selection of butterflies were seen on the Sussex Butterfly Branch outing to Malling Down today. Including the target species, Silver-spotted Skipper, we saw numerous Meadow Brown, a good number of Small Heaths and Gatekeepers, 1 Chalkhill Blue and 1 Wall. I even managed to get one Silver-spotted Skipper to sit on my finger (photo courtesy of Doug Neve); though getting any shots of this species was very difficult as the breeze and lack of sun meant they preferred to stay low down.

Saw an interesting orchid too, Autumn Lady's-tresses S.sprialis (L.) Chevall.

Silver-spotted Skipper Hesperia comma
Orchid, Autumn Lady's-tresses S.sprialis (L.) Chevall

Number for year now stands at 37 (38 if include the possible Brown Hairstreak near Steyning); I think with the luck behind me there is a possible 5 more species I could add to the list this year: Brown Hairstreak, Grayling, Essex Skipper, Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Possible Brown Hairstreak near Steyning

Whilst on an after work cycle up to Steyning and back, I took a wrong turn and ended up a farm at the end of Sopers Lane (TQ 17403 09874). It was nearly 8pm and whilst trying to work out where I was and how to get back home before dark, I saw a small brownish-orange coloured butterfly flying quite rapidly high up (at barn height). I cannot be certain but I believe it was a Brown Hairstreak. Having never seen this species I'm hedging my bets a bit (maybe it was just a moth :-)!!) but I am fairly familiar with other Hairstreaks sp. now and this certainly looked similar to those in terms of its size and nature. There was a large clump of bramble close by and some tall trees (I'm afraid I couldn't tell you what they were) but if anyone else is up at this location and can confirm they are present here I would be pleased to hear from you!