Friday, 14 July 2017

Chalkhills on the Chalkhills.

An early start yesterday as I hunted out the Chalkhill Blue, hoping to photograph them as they warmed themselves up in the early morning sunshine. With sunshine from the off it wasn't long before I had the opportunity I was after having found several roosting butterflies. I earmarked a couple that were in good positions and whilst I waited for them to open up I scanned the nearby grasses with the binoculars and was pleased to find another roosting Silver-spotted Skipper. It was then a bit of a panic as they all started to open up at the same time!!

Male Chalkhill Blue.

Male Silver-spotted Skipper.

Male Chalkhill Blue.

I then did my 'Wider Butterfly Survey' on the edge of Friston Forest which produced large numbers of butterflies. Following this I thought I would see if I could find any Grayling on the nearby downland. Nobody had reported any sightings of these yet this year, the last of the Sussex species. After walking up and down the steep hill I was just about to give up when a Grayling flew up from under my feet. This was followed by 2 more. I also saw a male Cuckoo in the valley. However, the main interest was back to the Chalkhill Blues with massive numbers in the base of the valley all the way back to the car. Every few steps clouds of these beautiful butterflies would take off looking like a snow storm as they were taking minerals from the track. It reminded me of the estimated 800,000 that were above Butchershole Bottom a few years ago. There were certainly several thousand in and around the valley but nothing like those numbers.

Skylark heard singing sitting on corn.

A Sussex scene. Chalkhill Blue on Round-headed Rampion.

Chalkhill Blues on Fox scat.


  1. Certainly had a good day Bob! our Norfolk colony has not got going yet. Regards Brian Hicks Please ignore my daughters name your comment box will not except my wordpress url

    1. Thanks Brian. Hope your colony gets going soon. Good to hear from you.