Friday 16 June 2023

Marsh Fritillary.

 I have several sites that I do like to visit and most of these are not too far from home so I can easily get there when the conditions are right, however, there are a handful of sites that are further away so I only get to them every other year or more.

Martin Down is one of these sites. It's an awful long drive to do too often, however, when we are staying in Worthing it is at least an hour nearer!!

Arriving on an early morning in mid May it wasn't long before we started to see things of interest with some of the wonderful bird life in the area. A gorgeous male Stonechat was posing in a bush that Lisa tried to get a little closer to. The bird then flew over our head to a further bush. As I wasn't too worried about getting a Stonechat photo I stayed put, but then the bird flew back over to my area and posed in such a wonderful position that it would have been rude not to take advantage.

Male Stonechat.

The next sighting was of an Adder basking in the early morning sunshine. Although it was tucked into the bushes it was worth photographing, as it was shortly going to be sloughing its skin, shown by the cloudy eyes.

Male Adder.

The main purpose of the visit was for Lisa to see her first ever Marsh Fritillary. It appears it wasn't the best year for the species this year and it was sometime before Lisa spotted one. Although we did see several more during the visit this one was the best condition one we saw, it was also the best poser as we saw it before the temperature got unusually warm. I even managed to get a few photos of him, which wasn't really the plan, but when you have a really good one that moves only small distances between posing I took advantage.

Male Marsh Fritillary.

Burnt Orchids are also worth seeing at Martin Down with family groups of them, along with the scarce plant, the Field Fleawort, which I have recently become familiar with as it has now been found on my local patch.

Burnt Orchid groups.

Field Fleawort.

We also saw huge numbers of Small Blue, several Grizzled Skippers, as species that has been very hard to find locally this year, lots of Brown Argus and Common and Adonis Blue.

It was a very long but enjoyable visit as ever!!

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