It was a glorious day yesterday, so a brisk 10 mile walk over the down from home and up to Cissbury Ring was just the thing. It wasn’t a spectacular haul of wildlife, with 10 species of butterfly, a few dragonflies and damsels and a few birds, but Corn Buntings were plentiful and that’s a treat these days.
Karen brought a treat home from work today: a male Stag Beetle she had found. It’s been a few years since we have had one at home, so it was great to see this magnificent beast again.
No, the cavalry aren’t coming, just a compilation of a week which saw a couple of evening trips out and more butterflies than birds.
Tuesday evening saw us charging across Sussex when an Elegant Tern at Church Norton was reidentified as an American Royal Tern. On Wednesday we went out to Iping Common in search of Nightjars. The longest day is the best time for good views of them, and the amphitheatre created by a coppice gave us fantastic views of at least three males and a female displaying just over our heads (the photos were still terrible, though). On the way up we had quite a few roosting Silver-studded Blues.
Today we had a morning return to Iping, with a variety of dragonflies and damselflies and loads more Silver-studded Blues in better light, and then on to Knepp, where we had a bit more royalty with a few Purple Emperors (imperiously refusing to be purple) and some Purple Hairstreaks.
A trip to Ditchling Common today, not to see the London to Brighton Cycle Ride, but to see some Black Hairstreaks that have recently been found there. They were probably introduced to the site, but that was fifty years ago.
(We could hear the cycle ride: there must be a limit to the number of times in a day one person can say “well done everybody” to the participants, but it is in the thousands.)
A trip to Martin Down in Hampshire brought us a new butterfly, Marsh Fritillary, and a host of other butterflies and moths, as well as five species of orchid.
After a truly dreadful May in the moth trap, June started with a trap full of moths, including three Hawkmoth species.