The sky was cloudy and unpromising as GH and BG began the first four sections of Wednesday morning's penultimate transect but, as we entered Fames Rough, the sun appeared, raising the temperature nicely for the remainder of our walk.
As anticipated, this week's count was lower than last week's despite the ideal conditions – we recorded a total of 11 butterflies from 4 species (4 Meadow Brown, 3 Brown Argus, 3 Common Blue and brief glimpse of our only Brown Hairstreak of the season). Next week marks the end of the transect season.
In section 8 and 9 (Hill Wood Field and Barn Field) we were treated to a 'Raptor Fest' that began with a good view of pair of red kites circling over HWF and then, in BF, we looked up to see a Hobby, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Buzzard, all in view at the same time. Among these was another hobby-shaped bird, but larger, that BG suggested might even have been a peregrine – GH said he wasn't able to confirm this with such a brief sighting. GH suspected that all of these birds of prey may have been drawn in to feed on flying insects disturbed by the extensive grass mowing taking place in the Chipstead Valley fields.
Survey by Graham H and Brian Gardner
submitted to Butterfly Conservation (UKBMS).
Report and pics by Brian Gardner.
Click pics to enlarge.
Here you'll find details and pictures from the team carrying out our regular butterfly surveys (known as transects) over 26 weeks during Spring and Summer.