Sunday, 4 August 2013

Butterfly tour comes up trumps

Today the CFBW Bird Group had its first butterfly and plant walk, led by Steve Gale and Paul Goodman. I came along to lend a hand and it was a great success, with 24 species of butterfly recorded and a specimen of the very rare Cut-leaved Germander being found. The undoubted highlight was the Clouded Yellow at Hither Field, most unexpected. This is the first known report of this species for the patch recording area and even better because it was of the washed-out form helice. Nearby, a Painted Lady showed well and was only the second record of the year, following one yesterday. Three Silver-washed Fritillaries were seen, including one showing well at Fames Rough. Another star species, although not quite as obliging as the rest was a Purple Hairstreak by the pond while strong numbers of Chalkhill Blues were still on the east slopes.

Steve Gale showing participants how lovely moths can be 

Clouded Yellow of form helice, the first known record for CFBW
Silver-washed Fritillary, a low-level species in the recording area
Painted Lady. Only the second sighting at the patch this year
Chalkhill Blue. I took this photo a week or so ago but there were still plenty during the tour
Brown Argus. It's not been a great year for these, though a couple have been on the patch in recent days
Common Blue. Relatively scarce this year but numbers on the tour were optimistic following a recent new emergence

Birds did get a look in, with a single Crossbill flying over that most people managed to see. Steve also heard one calling on the other side of the road that marks the patch boundary, just before the walk began.

Here's the list of butterflies seen:
  1. Essex Skipper
  2. Small Skipper
  3. Large Skipper
  4. Clouded Yellow
  5. Brimstone
  6. Large White
  7. Small White
  8. Green-veined White
  9. Purple Hairstreak
  10. Brown Argus
  11. Common Blue
  12. Chalkhill Blue
  13. Holly Blue
  14. Red Admiral
  15. Painted Lady
  16. Peacock
  17. Comma
  18. Silver-washed Fritillary
  19. Speckled Wood
  20. Marbled White
  21. Gatekeeper
  22. Meadow Brown
  23. Small Heath
  24. Ringlet