Saturday, 25 July 2015

Wood Whites & Silver-Spotted Skippers

I drove up to Botany Bay today which is part of Chiddingfold Forest on the West Sussex/Surrey border for Wood Whites. I couldn't find any for quite a while but then found one just past the triangle on the main ride and another by the triangle itself. They have in their favour the ability to sit still and pose for photos! Also present many Silver-Washed Fritillaries, Commas, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Green-Veined Whites though no Purple Emperors were seen by me.

Comma & Silver-Washed Fritillary:

Green-Veined White:

Wood White:

Commavar. Hutchinsoni:

Silver-Washed Fritillary:

After success at Botany Bay, I ventured up on to the top of the South Downs at Chantry Hill, TQ 08342 12686 or thereabouts  (thanks Leigh Prevost for the gen) for Silver-Spotted Skippers. General consensus was that I might be too early but eventually I found just one consorting with Small Skippers on Ragwort. The area for them is very steep so please exercise caution if you go here!

On Chantry Hill looking North West:

On Chantry Hill looking North East:

Common Blue:

Silver-Spotted Skipper:

Friday, 24 July 2015


No chance of getting out and about today in the pouring rain, well nearly no chance, a few hirundines and a large Mirror Carp at Westhampnett and the same but no Carp at Drayton, was all I could muster. But I did get a lot of lettuces planted in the greenhouse. :-) Instead, here's a Common Lizard from yesterday on the farm:

Common Lizard:

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Today I went deep into West Sussex countryside near the Knepp estate to try to get some better views of Purple Emperors. After a bit of trudging around (slightly more trudging on the way back it has to be said as I got rather lost...) I had good views of at least four flying around mid-Oak and nectaring on honeydew. Grid reference for these was: TQ1363320598 should you be interested. There were also plenty of Purple Hairstreaks, the occasional Silver-Washed Fritillary, Commas and the usual commoner species.

Purple Emperors:

I then went up Cissbury Ring to look for Silver-Spotted Skippers alas without success. Did find good numbers of Dark-Green Fritillaries on the plateau, many Small Skippers and the occasional Essex Skipper and half a dozen Chalkhill Blues:

Chalkhill Blues:

Dark-Green Fritillary:

Small Skipper:

The previous day I had cycled round Havant Thicket (bumping into Barry Collins on the way) and had a Purple Emperor on the meadowside of Bell's Copse, unfortunately it didn't hang around for pics in the blustery conditions. Also present some rather worn White Admirals, two Painted Ladies, lots of Silver-Washed Fritillaries, Peacocks, Marbled Whites, Gatekeepers by the hundred and Meadow Browns ditto. Small, Large & Essex Skippers too. A few Purple Hairstreaks too.

White Admiral:

Silver-Washed Fritillary:

Painted Lady:



Purple Hairstreak:


Saturday, 11 July 2015

A venture to Browndown South wasn't successful on Monday as the range was closed! On Friday, however, it was open and the Grayling and Purple Hairsreaks showed brilliantly. The Grayling colony is opposite the the large wood wall at the firing range and the Purple Hairstreaks are around the low growing oaks to the seaward side of the wall.


Purple Hairstreak:

At Havant Thicket, no Purple Emperors on Friday, but plenty of Silver-Washed Fritillaries & White Admirals and clouds of Gatekeepers too.

White Admiral:

Comma, Havant Thicket:

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Plenty of Dark-Green Fritillaries at Fairmile Bottom, not really happy with the photos but they wouldn't settle in a combination of wind and bright sun.

Dark-Green Fritillary:

Friday, 3 July 2015

I had a choice today...go to either Cosham or Brighton to see White-Letter Hairstreaks. Had I gone to Brighton I probably would also have seen a Squacco Heron which was found at Southease mid-afternoon but I didn't so I didn't! Instead had a great day out in Hampshire & West Sussex butterflying, highlights being White-Letter Hairstreaks, Purple Emperor, White Admiral and Silver-Washed Fritillary. White Admiral I found a real challenge to photo and didn't get any decent shots and the Purple Emperor was as surprised to see me as I was it and skedaddled into the canopy so I guess it's back for those when time allows. Meanwhile here are a few from today:

White-Letter Hairstreaks:

Silver-Washed Fritillary: