Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Butterfly Forays.

It is rare for me to walk anywhere locally where I don't have to negotiate a fence or gate and there is always the anticipation of what may be found on the other side.

The semi-shaded track (above) is one route that takes me steadily upwards onto the chalk slopes of the North Downs where I recently spent a few hours in the company of hundreds of delightful black and white butterflies, the Marbled White (Melanargia galathea).

With Common Knapweed everywhere it wasn't too difficult, even with a gusty wind, to find a few obliging subjects and a seat conveniently placed to rest the weary legs and admire the wild Orchids.

Earlier this week on a dull, muggy day I decided to wander around the tracks and pathways within Horton Country Park. There are lots of fences here bordering the horse paddocks where the polo ponies and other breeds spend their time chilling out in between being ridden by their owners.

On the far side of one of the paddocks I again found the resident Little Owl (below), just discernible with the naked eye, perched on top of a fence post. [N.B. Original image heavily cropped].

The main purpose of my visit was to see what might be flying or perched in a meadow just beyond another gate and I wasn't to be disappointed. Despite the lack of sunshine there were good numbers of the expected grassland butterfly species with a few others perched on the field boundary vegetation.

Clockwise from bottom left: Small Skipper, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Comma.

Good numbers of the aptly named Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) were spotted dancing unhurriedly around the field margins and gateways often jostling with each other to find a sunny perch on the bramble leaves.

While back at home the first of the lilies, Lilium 'Lady Alice' are starting to open up and the resident Robin watches from his preferred fence perch.

I'll be wandering the tracks around Ashtead Common today in the hope of catching up with some other species that might come in range of the lens. FAB.

Linking to Good Fences hosted by Theresa.


  1. A good selection of flutters there Frank, it's nice to see the Little Owl too...[;o)

  2. Well spotted with the Little Own. A good variety of flutters.

  3. Hi Frank A gorgeous selection of beautiful butterflies. Love the Little Owl alll the dfferent fences and your Lily is very pretty.

  4. For the avid naturalist ready to get out and invest a little time and effort there are many rewards. You have amply proven this with a great selection of pictures.

  5. I would like to wander around there myself. The butterflies, Little Owl and the horses are all awesome captures and sightings. Great photos and post. Enjoy your day!

  6. enviably better shots than mine! Plus of course, the marbled white!

  7. Lovely photos, FAB! (I've been missing again, but I explained in my post today). Your butterfly photography is just stunning. So many colors and varieties!

  8. gorgeous butterflies! i like your fence territory, too. pretty horses!

  9. For sure stunning fences. Like the horse.

    Butterflies are beautiful! You had a real variety. I so enjoyed.

  10. This was a delightful post. Loved seeing all the butterflies, quite a good variety. - The fences were nice as well.

  11. Oops I forgot to mention that the little owl was darling and that lily was stunning.

  12. lots of pretty fences. love the gatekeeper butterfly. the horse looks content.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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