Just for a change we walked the transect on a Friday. The weather was cloudy, breezy and around the minimum temperature for butterflies to be up and about. Bill Downey has recently reminded us that we should be prepared for the regular June gap in sightings before the main summer butterfly emergence but what we encountered was a chasm rather than a gap.
The total for the 12 sections was 18 across 5 species. We counted: 11 Common Blue 3 Small Heath 2 Dingy Skipper 1 Holly Blue 1 Speckled Wood Click on butterfly names for more info. On a more encouraging note, the Kidney Vetch (favoured by the Small Blue) is blooming on Hither Field as well as on our Stagbury patch, which recently benefited from some new planting.
And we can report that Horseshoe Vetch is in bloom across much of the Chalkhill Blue site, a tribute to the timely work put in by our volunteers.
With Andy's proposed Glow-worm survey approaching, it was good to find a larva on the path on Coneyboro Hill (see pic).
Nonetheless, the highlight of today's walk was finding a Butterfly Orchid. This was a first sighting of this plant and GH said that they are now uncommon – he hasn't seen one for around 15 years.
A rare Butterfly Orchid made up for the lack of winged species.
Survey by Brian, Graham K and Graham H, submitted to Butterfly Conservation (UKBMS). Pics from Graham K. Click on pics to enlarge.