Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Silver in the Hills.

On my patch I have a North facing valley that doesn't see any sun at all for 2-3 months over the Winter and often on the coldest days the frost never thaws.  In the Summer it still remains a little cooler than the Southern facing slopes.

Despite this, every July the Silver-spotted Skipper makes an early appearance, with this site not only being the the first place that the Silver-spotted Skipper appears in Sussex most years, it is also often the first place in the UK that the butterfly is seen.  That was the case in 2017 and again this year with the first male emerging on July 13th.

I had searched 4 times that week in the area that I've found is particularly good for the first ones before I struck lucky, a very fresh male.

Just 3 days later another visit produced numbers up to around 12 that included an egg laying female.

Male Silver-spotted Skipper on Small Scabious.

Male Silver-spotted Skipper showing the male sex brand.

Male Silver-spotted Skipper.

In the area I have recently located a colony of the stunning Six-belted Clearwing.  Until this year I had never seen any type of Clearwing in the UK with my only sightings being in Bulgaria. 
I have now seen several 6 Belted as well as 3 Yellow-legged locally.  The photo below was taken within 6 metres of the Skipper and only a few minutes later.

Six-belted Clearwing.


  1. Fabulous photos, as always, Bob. I'll be visiting East Sussex in a couple of weeks so hope to see my very first Silver-studded skipper. We don't have them in Wales. Fingers crossed!

    1. Good luck with your visit. There are really good numbers now and you should certainly find some along the South Downs.

  2. Lovely isolation of the subject Bob. A great set of images.

  3. Beautiful pictures Bob. I am not a specialist of butterflys or insects but your images are splendid.

  4. Hello Bob
    first class, sharpness, background, colors, ... everything fits perfect pictures
    very nice
    Greetings Frank