West Sussex (and a tiny bit of Surrey), 11 August 2012
Earlier today, I decided to have a general look around to see what was about. I started at Steyning Rifle Range in the hope of a Brown Hairstreak. Although I'm sure I was being watched from above they didn't reveal their presence on this occasion. Three male Wall, a species that appears to be doing well in Sussex this season, were found at the top of the reserve along with an ovipositing Brown Argus and numerous pristine Brimstone. After several hours I left and headed towards Springhead Hill. Although the peak of the Chalkhill Blue activity has now passed at this location reasonable numbers were still to be found, including many in good condition. Two Small Copper, a single male Small Blue, three male Common Blue and several Brown Argus were also observed along with an unexpected, though welcome, female Silver-washed Fritillary. A flying visit to Botany Bay concluded my day where a single female Wood White was found.
In reflection, I found it quite interesting to consider that although I had a total species count of twenty-three (23) today, I could quite easily have pushed this to thirty (30) species by adding Green-veined White, Adonis Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Small Tortoiseshell, Grayling, Silver-spotted Skipper and Essex Skipper without travelling too far in Sussex, and maybe as many as thirty-seven (37) if lady luck and time had been on my side and I’d found Brown Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak, Painted Lady (there’s been one at Mill Hill recently), Purple Emperor, White Admiral and Silver-studded Blue (which I gather are still hanging on at Stedham and Iping Commons.
Food for thought …
Forty-five (45) butterfly species are regular breeders in Sussex ...
Species seen today: