On Monday I perhaps stupidly decided to do a count on my patch of the 1st brood Wall Brown. Stupid because it was far too windy. With it being a good 4 mile round trip as well, and agreeing to meet up with Matt later for an orchid foray I had to also get a move on. It is difficult getting the timing right for these counts as the peak time for the butterflies never seem to be the same time as the weather is perfect, or coincides with when I have the time. The only reason I am glad I did it was at one point a fresh male flew up from under my feet and promptly settled on a Gorse bush. I very rarely see Wall Brown settle on Gorse so it was extremely lucky and perfect timing. The butterfly also sat still for me and allowed me to take 10 shots, also very rare for the Wall Brown!!
Male Wall Brown on Gorse.
After counting just 22 Wall Brown, which was disappointing, but perhaps in the wind, not too surprising, it was meeting up with Matt to go looking for the Burnt Orchids that grow locally. Here on the South Downs we have the early and later form of this delightful orchid. This year is very good for this the early form with an estimated count of 200-300 plants.
An assortment of Burnt Orchids.
We also checked out a dew pond hoping to see some emerging dragonflies, although it was much too late in the day really. However, we did find around 8 excuvia of the Emperor Dragonfly as well as a Broad-bodied Chaser and Hairy Dragonfly.