Sunday, 11 August 2013

Coridon ...

Surrey Downland, 30-31 July 2013

Simply wonderful …


I recently spent two days, with good friend Nick Broomer, searching several areas of chalk grassland on the beautiful Surrey downland; our targets, the beautiful Silver-spotted Skipper and the enchanting Chalkhill Blue. We were not to be disappointed on either count.

Although Tuesday was accompanied by persistent rain for much of the day, an early morning arrival provided ideal conditions for searching the grassland for roosting butterflies; we were not disappointed and found many hundreds, probably thousands, of roosting Chalkhill Blues over much of the hill. This included a number of nice aberrant specimens including those pictured in the two images below, referable to ab. postcaeca, Bright & Leeds (1938). The first image shows a particularly well-marked male which we observed from shortly after emergence until its first flight. Wednesday started warm, and by midday large numbers of insects were on the wing. As the sun pushed through the clouds the numbers of Chalkhill Blues increased and we were privileged to witness a magnificent display as the air and ground around us turned blue as if covered in tiny sapphires. It is difficult to estimate actual numbers, though if I were pressed to do so, there were certainly many thousands and probably many tens of thousands on the wing; possibly many more. Although I didn’t witness the peak of the Sussex Chalkhill Blue explosion last year, Wednesday’s display was an event to remember ...

A privilege to have shared with a good friend …



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