My butterfly forays this week started on Monday with good views of a single male Silver-washed Fritillary during a transect walk on Ashtead Common.
During this walk I recorded 9 different species with Meadow Brown (see left) producing the highest count of 58 separate individuals. The other species were Small Skipper (3), Small/Essex Skipper (4), Large Skipper (9), White Admiral (1), Red Admiral (1), Speckled Wood (6) and Ringlet (13).
Record shot (above) of a resting Ringlet.
On Thursday I joined a Butterfly Conservation walk at Bookham Common and after a very quiet start with total cloud cover and a sprinkling of rain the group eventually logged 18 species including a brief high flying view of a Purple Emperor plus good numbers of White Admiral and plenty Silver-washed Fritillary.
At our lunch stop I saw my first Gatekeeper of the year, a very fresh male (above) and a slight detour from our planned route enabled me to also add Comma (below) to the day list.
Today I undertook another recording session on Ashtead Common in much higher temperatures and again logged nine separate species which included the usual Skippers (17), Large White (1), Purple Hairstreak (1), Peacock (1), Silver-washed Fritillary (1) plus White Admiral (7) and larger counts of Meadow Brown (61) together with Ringlets (37).
Best recording day so far this year with a total of 126 individual butterflies logged .... I wonder how many I missed!
As expected the White Admirals were fairly active; flying in the shade close to Honeysuckle, their host plant; so I only had a brief opportunity for a record shot when one individual perched for a moment or two in not a particularly ideal location.
I was slightly surprised not to find more Silver-washed Fritillary but I'll end this post with another image of the individual I located earlier this week. FAB.