Another walk over West High Down yesterday in the continuing summery weather and many more Chalk-hill Blues to see.The females are now out and as with many 'blue' butterfly species it is brown and inconspicuous.
With the summer at last putting in an appearance the Downs of the Island were today a sight to behold.The blue sky,the bright blue sea , and a slight sea breeze made a wander over West High Down a pleasure.The butterflies too enjoyed the sunshine and plenty were to be seen.Small Heath,Marbled White and Meadow Brown are abundant Small Copper together with Common Blue are to be found in the more sheltered, grassy, parts on the Down.
As mentioned in my previous entry,Dark Green Fritillaries are whizzing low over the gorse and bramble in search of mainly purple coloured flowers and now the Chalk-hill Blues have emerged. I saw only eight males today but soon the Down will be a mass of these silvery-blue butterflies.It will not be long before the brown females will join them.
The weather this week has continued to be wet.Woodland butterflies will no doubt suffer from this dismal time and species such as the White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary will have a disappointing season.
A visit today to Walters Copse at Newtown was a mixed one of sunshine and showers.Meadow Browns were numerous as this butterfly is a common sight.Just a single Marbled White was to be seen together with a Red Admiral.The White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary were also flying.
Ningwood Common is protected heathland just west of the village of Shalfleet.It is a breeding site for the Nightjar and until last year an area where the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly was found.Unfortunately this season no sightings of this butterfly have been reported and along with the Pearl-bordered Fritillary I regret to say that both species are no longer likely to be seen on the Island.
The weather has been very wet of late but a few rays of sunshine did appear this afternnon when I was on the Common.It is edged by woodland and now Marbled Whites,Ringlets and Small Skippers can be seen flitting along the woodland edges.Out too is the summer brood of the Comma,seen above in the 'hutchinsoni' form.