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