Saturday, 25 June 2016

Ashtead Common Transect.

After the torrential storms on Thursday which flooded our rear garden I anticipated that even beneath a partially sunny sky late on Friday morning the underfoot conditions for my planned butterfly transect walk at Ashtead Common would require waterproof footwear. All the ditches were brimming full of water that was still seeping off the hillside and the main rides were very boggy so the Muck Boots were definitely the right choice.

The dominant species recorded was Meadow Brown (17) plus Speckled Wood (2), Large Skipper (5) and a single Red Admiral. As expected, due to the weather conditions, the overall numbers for the last 13 weeks of the survey period are down by at least 15% compared to last year.

Fortunately during my walk there were a few other interesting encounters mainly centered around the very muddy Flag Pond including more sightings of several male White-legged Damselflies, an Emperor dragonfly ovipositing, two male and one female Broad-bodied Chaser plus Blue and Large Red Damselflies.

 A female Large Red Damselfly (Phrrhosoma nymphula).

The largest open woodland pasture now has a few clumps of foxgloves but is quickly being dominated by the overbearing bracken but the time I spent here produced a few day flying moth species.

Brown Silver-line (Petrophora chlorosata).

One of the varied number of micro Grass Moths (Crambidae family).

I also disturbed at least half a dozen Silver Y (Autographa gamma) but getting a clear focus deep within their grassy hideaway was a real challenge!

The most unexpected find was this immature Black-tailed Skimmer (above) probably displaced by the windy weather. Below is just one of the five Large Skipper recorded throughout the transect.


  1. Hello Frank, wonderful photos of the Damsel, Skimmer, Skipper and the pretty Meadow Brown. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  2. sorry to hear about your bad weather. It have had very little rain, I think it was your turn!!! nevertheless you manages to ssee a great vareity of critters on your walk. All beautifully photographed Frank

  3. So many wonderful shots of nature's flora and fauna despite the bad weather you had....I love the up closeness of the shots!

    Visiting from Nature Notes....

    and LivingFromHappiness

  4. Sorry you have too much rain Frank. Parts of the US have floods and fires and we are dry. You are so good with these macros of some of my favorite insects...Michelle

  5. Pretty shots here!
    Thanks for linking up at

  6. I've just taken my camera out to get some macro shots for the first time in a very long time. You've given me something to aspire to. Little critters are a real challenge, which lens do you use?

  7. Beautiful collection of snaps. You have brought together the flora and the fauna in these.

    R. Täysin arkista

  8. so many pretty butterflies and the red damselfly is amazing.

  9. Beautiful pictures!!! Love espeacially these of the Meadow Brown and the Digitalis.


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