Time to catch up on some of the late season butterflies and also a few of the earlier ones that I had not recorded. This sudden return of enthusiasm being triggered by the hot weather and the realisation that I was about to time out on the Silver-studded Blue.
It has been a funny year for the butterflies. Poor numbers of the early season species and now what appears to be large numbers of a lot of the later species. On top of that some species seem to be late emerging whilst others are around there normal time.
We usually see the Silver-studded Blues at Iping Common in the last two weeks of June. This year it was us that were late, rather than the butterfly, looking for them in the second week of July. There were still plenty flying but most were past their best so I guess these had emerged on their usual timescales.
|Female Silver-studded Blue|
|Male Silver-studded Blue|
|Male with silver studs just about showing|
We also took a trip over to Windover Hill on the 14th July to see the Chalkhill Blues and to look for Grayling. We had regularly seen good numbers of fresh Chalkhills on this date in previous years and occasionally a Grayling or two. This year the Chalkhills were out but only in small numbers and there was no sign of Grayling. However the nationally rare Yellow Pearl Moth with a flight season of Mid July to August was out in huge numbers. In places it was difficult to put your foot down without treading on them.
|Yellow Pearl Moth - Mecyna flavalis|
|Dark Green Fritillary|
|Female Skipper probably a Small|
|and an Essex showing the black undersides to the antenna|
This Comma being the form Hutchinsoni. These usually develop when the caterpillars are exposed to long periods of sunlight. Did we have that earlier this year? I think the normal form is a much more impressive butterfly.
Plenty of Peacock's seen but perhaps more unusual, a Peacock Caterpillar
and to finish, a Ringlet......
and a White-letter Hairstreak. Perhaps not the best picture I have taken of the White-letter but it is the only one we saw and then only for a few seconds whilst silhouetted against the sun.
Still a few butterflies to see before the end of the year and I am still keeping my fingers crossed for a Large Tortoiseshell. There is still time!