With the sun shining again I headed up to the patch in the hope that the Wall Browns would be on the wing. Alas, this wasn't the case but on a longer walk than planned plenty other goodies were waiting for me. It was soon evident that there was more of a breeze blowing than I had wanted and it was quite a cool breeze too. I started off looking for the very fresh Grizzled Skipper that I had spotted yesterday morning. No sign of this but the 2 Wall Brown larva I have been monitoring were still in the same tussock. Some great views of Common Whitethroat were also had. Along the valley the tatty Grizzled Skipper was seen for the 4th time, I was wondering and hoping that I would see a fresh one here. I then saw my first odonata of the year with a lovely Large Red Damselfly that even stayed put long enough for a few shots.
Large Red Damselfly.
The tatty individual. Why can't I get a perfect specimen performing like this one!!
Following this I decided to head much further along the valley hunting Green Hairstreaks. Although I saw several Hairstreaks on Tuesday at Devil's Dyke I still hadn't seen any local ones and I felt sure there should be some showing now, despite my earliest record for the local site being 19th April.
Halfway to the turnaround point I came across a pair of Peacock where the male was doing a courtship dance around the female. Both butterflies were really tatty and it made me think if I would still be trying it on when I get to the old peoples home!! After a short while the old girl got a bit fed up with the amorous old boy and flew off!!
Geriatric Peacocks getting fruity!!
At last I reached the furthest point and I suddenly saw a Green Hairstreak fly up right by me. It was in pretty good condition but probably not totally straight out the box.
At this point I also had a very fresh Grizzled Skipper that didn't hang around for a photo as well as a flighty female Orange-tip.
It was then a long walk back to the car. On the way back another Green Hairstreak showed itself. This was on a bush where I have often seen them in previous seasons. Back to where the tatty Grizzled Skipper was seen earlier I saw another Skipper. I immediately assumed it was the tatty one again but looking through the binoculars I could see it was a much fresher one. Although it didn't pose as well as the tatty one had I still managed a couple of shots.
I was now feeling a little jaded and with just 100 yards to go to the car a Holly Blue flew up from the path by my feet. Cursing as Holly Blues rarely pose low down I watched it fly down the path looking as though it might land again low down. It then did something I can't remember a Holly Blue do before, it landed on a twig sticking up. I quickly got in position as I could hear a family coming down the path. The butterfly then started to open its wings to reveal the fact it was a fresh female. As usual with this species it didn't open its wings fully, but just enough, and just in time before the family went past disturbing it.
Female Holly Blue.