Friday, 27 May 2016

Friday Flutters.

My butterfly transect walk earlier this week through the woodland glades on Ashtead Common only produced two species; Brimstone and Speckled Wood (see image left) plus views of several Speckled Yellow, a day flying moth patrolling the open tracks; so on Thursday I decided to wander the southern chalk downland slope at Denbies Hillside.

Before tackling the downward slope I wandered across the upper meadow; the track-way lined with buttercups; and spotted numerous Five-spot Burnet moths amongst the grasses.

Five-spot Burnet.

A mating pair.

Descending the slope towards the gate provided my first view this year of a Common Blue perched low down in the grassy sword keeping out of the north-easterly breeze.

A few Brimstone and a solitary Orange-tip were also seen patrolling the field edge.

I was also delighted to see decent numbers of our commonest grassland species, the tiny Small Heath, which from past experience rarely perch for very long but I found one individual that sat just long enough for the lens to focus on it.

Small Heath.

My peripheral vision locked onto another inconspicuous and well camouflaged species, a Green Hairstreak, also hiding deep in the hillside vegetation. 

Green Hairstreak.

Deciding to take a rest and eat my packed lunch close to a bare patch of chalk was a good choice as I was shortly able to enjoy decent views of a fresh male Adonis Blue.

Adonis Blue (male).

On reaching the bottom of the slope I eventually came across a female Adonis Blue (see below).

Adonis Blue (female).

Finally a shot of the hillside resident that is a very important grazing species on the downs, necessary for creating very fine, short turf that is required by the rare Adonis Blue and other downland species.

Linking to:
Saturday's Critters


  1. This is a gorgeous area you have to walk and explore adn all these photographsare wonderful Frank. Have a lovely weekend.

  2. I had no idea small heaths were so common! They are hard to keep track of, but I'd have thought there are far more meadow browns.

  3. How many different beautiful butterflies you have seen and "caught"!!
    Adonis Blue is my favourite =)

  4. Frank, are those not Narrow-bordered Five Spot Burnet moths? We only discovered them up here recently. I think everyone had been assuming they were Six Spots!

  5. It's like a psychedelic moth. Totally cool Frank. Love the butters too. I haven't seen a light blue one here in the States. Carol

  6. The 5 SB is a real blast from the past - we used to see some many of those where I was a kid. Black and yellow caterpillars if I recall correctly.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne (airport)

  7. Hello, beautiful collection of butterflies. I think my favorite are the male and female Adonis Blue, they are lovely. The Five spot Burnet is colorful. Great series of photos and a nice walk. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!


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