Heyshott Escarpment, 19 May 2012
Males, females, courtship, mating, egg laying and territorial behaviour - today can only be described as an absolute success, as I was joined by a mixed group of around 58 people on the Duke of Burgundy open day at Heyshott Escarpment, organized jointly by the Murray Downland Trust and Sussex Butterfly Conservation.
Arriving early, to help set up the marquee before the crowds began to arrive for the 10.30 kick off and the first of our two guided tours of the reserve, I couldn’t help but think that today would be successful. The temperature was good and the weather conditions were perfect for a day of emergence and activity on this site that radiates calm and inspiration. We were not disappointed as a count of 31 Dukes was recorded, along with a small selection of other spring downland species. The Duke of Burgundy far outnumbered any other species. Of particular interest to me, was the sighting of a single female flying from the established Duke colony on the eastern slopes down into the lower slopes cleared this past winter.
Fingers crossed …