After the success of last weekend the following 7 days have been a bit more frustrating with many hours spent looking at Blackthorn bushes hoping for a Brown Hairstreak to perform for me. In all the years I've spent looking for these elusive butterflies I've not really managed a shot I'm happy with. It is at the moment early in their season but to get a pristine butterfly that is what one does. The problem is that the butterflies only regularly descend once their eggs are ripened so this makes it even more elusive until that happens!! On Thursday I did see at ground level a pristine male followed an hour later by a pristine female. Unfortunately they were only at ground level for a few moments each. Lovely to see but a little frustrating!!
Also this week I did a Wall Brown count on a North facing slope on the Downs. The butterflies here are generally a couple of weeks behind my usual patch. The grass here is much more dense and many of the butterflies would have been in areas I couldn't get to. A count of 22 was however not too bad especially as it was extremely windy, although the slopes did shelter much of it from the wind. Along the bottom slopes I did find a newly emerged male that sat in the grass just long enough for a quick shot, but a fresh female flew as the shutter went off!!
Male Wall Brown.
On another stroll I came across a friendly Common Lizard, several Great Green Bush Crickets and a Skylark nest complete with 3 eggs. The bird took off just in front of me and the nest was where it took off from. A very quick look at this before covering it up and leaving it alone for the bird to come back to.
Great Green Bush Cricket.