Thursday 22nd July and with the likelihood of a warm day I decided to head up to Fontmell Down fairly early to see what Butterflies were about, particularly hoping to see a Chalk Hill Blue. I have never seen one before.
The first wildlife I saw was a Kestrel in the bushes, I’ve seen one in that area of the downs before as I’ve headed over to the Dorset Wildlife reserve a little while from the car park; it must be it’s territory.
I reached the reserve on a steep slope on the down, plenty of wildflowers around so surely plenty of Butterflies? It took a little while before I started spotting them and by the time I made my way back to the car park I had spotted 13 species of the 25 that have been recorded on the down.
- Chalk Hill Blue
- Dark Green Fritillary
- Small Skipper
- Red Admiral
- Large White
- Small White or Green Veined White
- Marbled White
- Small Heath
- Clouded Yellow
- Meadow Brown
I was beginning to give up seeing any blues particularly the Chalk Hill Blue but suddenly a small Butterfly flew past and I watched it until it landed on a flower and sure enough a Chalk Hill Blue, after that I saw a number of them although not in great numbers, difficult to get pictures as they are always busy! A pretty little Butterfly and the ones I saw were males I didn’t see any females, they are not so conspicuous as the males.
There were also a few Dark Green Fritillaries.
Also a couple of Marbled White Butterflies. One had a couple of red mites on it’s back called Trombidium breei, not harmful apparently to the Butterfly.
I was really pleased to find a Small Heath, they are very small and not easy to spot as they stick low to the ground, their conservation status is high.