Mill Hill, 31 May 2012
It would be fair to say that I’ve really been struggling to get out recently, particularly early morning and evening, my two favourite times of the day. Today was different, and as my alarm woke me at 4am, that tingle of tired excitement gripped me prior to an early session on Shoreham Bank.
Arriving shortly after 5am the sun was just breaking the horizon to the far east of the hill, whose sheltered, southwest facing chalk slopes awaited its warming rays of light. Roosting in the long grass and scrub, the Adonis and Common Blue were easy to find in good numbers along with resting Small Heath and Small Copper. Colin Knight joined me shortly after my arrival and between us, following Colin’s transect route of the site, we counted 92 male and 22 female Adonis Blue along with 29 Small Heath, 8 Common Blue and a single Small Copper.
With roosting photos completed, at 7.45am the first rays of sun began to warm the slopes and the first signs of flight were observed. Just fifteen minutes later and the air above the yellow tinted, vetch covered hill was filled with tiny sapphires.
A beautiful start to the day …