Tuesday, 15 July 2014

mid July update from Portsdown Hill and elsewhere

Essex skipper (Thymelicus lineola) were recorded on the transect for the first time this year on 2nd July (Week 14) with six individuals successfully ID'd along with four small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) and a further six small/Essex. The transect also recorded two dark green fritillary (Argynnis aglaja).

Along with the butterflies - a great green bush cricket (Tettigonia viridissima) was also noted:

great green bush cricket - 2nd July

A quick walk on the hill on the 5th July, in less than suitable conditions (heavily overcast, with strong cool winds) - still managed to produce our first sighting of the year for chalk hill blue (Polyommatus coridon) a very wind blown male - persistently flighty - whilst I tried to grab a record shot. Essex skipper also provided a brief opportunity to get off some photos.

Also seen yellow shell moth (Camptogramma bilineata).

chalk hill blue - record shot 5th July
yellow shell 5th July
Essex skipper 5th July

Returning to undertake the weekly transect on the 9th July (Week 15) two chalk hill blue males were recorded along with 13 other species of butterfly.

chalk hill blues 9th July

marbled white (Melanargia galathea)
9th July

The Week 16 transect undertaken on 15th July - and saw the return on the wing of both small blue (Cupido minimus) - last recorded 20th June; and common blue (Polyommatus icarus) - last recorded 25th June. Strongly suggesting that a second brood had occurred with both species.

In total 20 butterfly species were recorded on the wing.

small skipper 15th July

Following the transect a quick afternoon's visit to Hook Heath on the north of Portsdown Hill was rewarded with sightings of only one of the three target species - silver-washed fritillary (Argynnis paphia); failing to connect with white admiral (Limenitis camilla) and purple hairstreak (Favonius quercus).

silver-washed fritillary Hook Heath 15th July


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